Warehousing and logistics are available to support small businesses across Vancouver Island
COURTENAY, 20 March, 2023 – A new marketing plan will help promote Deliver Vancouver Island (Delvi), the only fulfillment centre north of Victoria serving small businesses across Vancouver Island, through a project investment by Island Coastal Economic Trust’s Capital and Innovation Program in 2022.
Deliver Vancouver Island is a community owned-and-operated social enterprise business that preserves, protects, and contains the goods that it packs, loads, and ships on behalf of local businesses, including same-day delivery options. The Deliver Vancouver Island fulfillment centre was established by the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce and is centrally located in Parksville. It has shown significant interest and is currently being used by 17 small businesses. To grow the initiative to its fully realized commercial potential, the Chamber will execute a marketing plan to increase the number of businesses served up to 50.
“Moving out of the pandemic and into economic recovery mode, we were seeing a need to support Vancouver Island businesses,” says Meghan Walker, President of the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce. “This service, which is the only one of its kind on the Island, meets a need for local businesses warehouse, pick, pack and deliver their products in a cost-effective and timely manner.”
The marketing plan comes at a moment when the Chamber is ready to propel the project forward, working with Island Good (established with funding support from the Trust in 2017) and other Vancouver Island Chambers, to grow the project from start-up and pilot mode into a new level of sustainability. This comes alongside plans to move into a 28,000 square foot facility, located on fee simple land owned by Snaw-Naw-As Nation, with the building owned and operated by the Nanoose Economic Development Corporation.
“This service will not only save businesses hundreds of hours each month in processing delivery orders, lowering storage costs, and making inventory storage a reality for businesses,” says Kim Burden, Executive Director of the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce. “It will also allow local businesses to spend more time creating new product lines, producing products, and marketing their products further afield.”
In the past, delivery channel challenges have been cited as a main reason why manufacturing companies decide not to move their operations to Vancouver Island. By offering targeted support to local businesses (and particularly small businesses), re-defining the current delivery models available them, increasing e-commerce opportunities, and opening the e-commerce landscape to new entrepreneurs, Deliver Vancouver Island is committed to providing long-lasting and impactful solutions.
“This project is a great example of sharing economic opportunities by attracting new business and investment to Vancouver Island and, as these businesses grow, so too will their employment needs in many communities,” says Aaron Stone, Chair, Island Coastal Economic Trust. “We are proud to be a part of this project and look forward to watching the service grow to the benefit of small business across the coast.”
“Any investment into our region’s prosperity is an exciting one,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum Beach. “It’s especially exciting to see investment into initiatives like this that support Island businesses and Island jobs.”
Deliver Vancouver Island will have the ability to negotiate shipping prices based on volume, which can save businesses up to 50% of regular costs. They will also focus on recruiting business in the Island Good family, home-based businesses looking to grow and businesses in the agriculture producing sector. Deliver Vancouver Island is also working with an Island-based tech company that offers support to businesses moving to or improving their online sales platforms.
Island Coastal Economic Trust has committed $75,000 to this project through the Trust’s Capital and Innovation Program’s Innovation Support stream.
The project will be underway imminently.
Founded by the Province of British Columbia in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust works to build a sustainable and resilient coastal economy in reciprocal relationships with First Nations, municipalities, and regional districts across Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and islands and inlets from the Salish Sea to Cape Caution. Serving over half a million residents, we partner with communities in the development and financing of their economic infrastructure and diversification efforts through our unique structure that is led by, and accountable to, communities.
Since our inception, Island Coastal Economic Trust has approved more than $58 million to economic development initiatives that have attracted over $316 million in new investment to our region. These investments have created over 2,750 permanent jobs, and countless positive impacts, across the coast.
Island Coastal Economic Trust acknowledges that we work for communities across the ancestral and unceded territories of the Kwak̓wala, Nuučaan̓uɫ, Éy7á7juuthem, Ligwilda’xw, Pəntl’áč, She shashishalhem, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Hul’q’umi’num’, diitiidʔaatx̣, SENĆOŦEN, Lekwungen, and T’Sou-ke speaking peoples.
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce
Deliver Vancouver Island (Delvi)