Business too busy to meet
It was the fall of 2008 and fear was spreading around the globe — and in Kamloops — that an ongoing economic meltdown could turn into a financial disaster not seen since the Great Depression.
With the dark economic clouds looming, then-mayoral candidate Peter Milobar pledged if elected to meet with various business groups in Kamloops to try to head off any impact to the city.
He went on to election victory and the group met a couple of times in the beginning of 2009, but hasn’t been together since.
Fast-forward to 2011 and the group of Tournament Capital business minds is a distant memory.
Milobar said the first few meetings were well-attended, but the anticipated slowdown never came to fruition in Kamloops.
Though nothing concrete came from the city hall summits, he suggested the meetings had value at the time, but became unnecessary as the months passed by.
“It was put together at a time when people weren’t sure what was going to happen with the economy,” Milobar said.
“To tie up a lot of busy people to meet and say ‘yes, we’re all busy,’ seems somewhat counter-productive for everybody.”
The groups in attendance at the time included Venture Kamloops, the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA)-Central Interior, the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association and the North Shore Business Improvement Association, to name a few.
That doesn’t mean the mayor wouldn’t consider bringing all the players back if another economic disaster was on its way.
“We’re still always looking as a civic operation on what we can tweak and help move things along in a timely fashion,” he said.
Some of issues discussed at those original meetings were concerns about the amount of time it takes the city to process commercial-building permits and labour numbers in the region.