With 130 businesses along Highway 19A alone, there’s plenty of choice in what businesses to visit in Lighthouse Country — and folks like Betsy Poel and Arlene Veenhof are working hard to spread the word.
The Lighthouse Country Business Associaition — of which Poel is president and Veenhof is one of its board members — covers the area from Qualicum Bay to Deep Bay. Not only are there the 130 roadside businesses, but Pool adds there are dozens more being run out of the owners’ homes. Getting the word out about all of them is a big job.
The LCBA was founded around 35 years ago, according to Poel. They have a seven-member board of directors and in their early existence, their main job was to produce a local phone directory.
It’s a publication that they still produce each year. It’s paid for by member businesses and offers all sorts of listings — residential, commercial and emergency numbers — and it’s delivered free to the Lighthouse Country community.
“Our job,” added Poel, “is to get people better able to find things, to make it a little easier.”
Approximately 60 per cent of all business in the region, she continued, are home-based — from construction and masonry firms, to art galleries, entertainment venues, fitness and much more.
With this variety, the challenge is keeping residents in the area and able to shop local for what they need.
To that end, the LCBA recently held a small trade show during the Lighthouse Community Hall’s regular pancake breakfast.
Thirty-two local business owners took advantage of the opportunity to set up a table or booth and show visitors what they have to offer.
The response by local business was more than they had expected, Poel said, and the event itself was a busy half-day affair.
Looking ahead, Poel said the LCBA will be doing what it can to get the word out about what the area has to offer the community — and the region.
“We can offer business owners value,” she continued. “With networking, signage and more.”
Poel herself is a member, noting she and her family have been involved for many years.
“I feel like I’m doing my part,” she said, noting people need to ask themselves, ‘what can I do to support my entire community?’”
Becoming a member of the Lighthouse Country Business Association may be the first step. Visit www.lighthousecountry.ca for more information.