BC Credit Unions

Credit Unions in British Columbia offer the full array of financial solutions and services, including credit cards, loans, mortgages, lines of credit, and more - https://www.creditavenue.ca/. The list of unions includes institutions such as Columbia Valley, Interior Savings, Grand Forks, and Coast Capital Savings Union, and many others.

Columbia Valley Credit Union

Established back in 1955, this union offers investing, borrowing, and banking solutions as well as tools and advice (https://www.cvcu.bc.ca/Personal/). Customers can choose from different borrowing options such as credit cards, and personal loans, lines of credit, and mortgages. The union also offers banking solutions such as shares, savings, and chequing accounts and investment products like RRIFs, RESPs, RRSPs, and term deposits.

Community Savings Credit Union

This union has branches in Surrey, New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver, Victoria, and other locations. Customers are offered investment, borrowing, and banking solutions and wealth management services. The array of investment products includes online brokerage, RESPs, term deposits, TFSAs, and RRSPs. The union also features lines of credit, loans, and mortgages and everyday banking solutions such as credit cards and savings and chequing accounts. Wealth management is also offered, including estate and tax planning and education, retirement, and investment planning.

Interior Savings Credit Union

Interior Savings features business and personal financial solutions, personal financial planning, and insurance products. Individual customers are offered personal accounts, credit cards, personal loans, TFSA and RRSP loans, and more. Business customers can choose from a wealth of borrowing solutions such as term loans, project financing, letters of credit, operating loans, and construction and commercial mortgages. Business accounts and VISA cards are also available. Interior Savings also features business services such as customer automated funds transfers, payroll services, and merchant services.

Greater Vancouver Community Credit Union

This credit union offers investing, borrowing, and banking products as well as online banking and planning and advice. Customers can choose from a selection of borrowing products such as credit cards and lines of credit, personal loans, and mortgages. The union also offers investment solutions such as RRIFs, mutual funds, term deposits. Banking products are also available, including personal U.S., savings, and chequing accounts, wire transfers, and drafts and money orders.

North Peace Savings and Credit Union

Another union in British Columbia, this co-operative institution offers banking, borrowing, and investment solutions and insurance products. Individual customers benefit from lending solutions with competitive rates, including credit cards, lines of credit, RSP loans, personal loans (https://www.creditavenue.ca/canadian-guide-to-credit-cards-for-bad-credit/), and mortgages. Insurance plans are also available, including travel, life, and disability insurance, segregated funds, extended dental and health insurance, and annuities.

Nelson & District Credit Union

This community-based institution offers business and personal financial solutions, online banking, and financial advice. Business customers can choose from a selection of borrowing solutions, including credit cards (https://www.creditavenue.ca/guaranteed-easy-to-get-credit-cards-with-instant-approval-in-canada/), letters of credit, lines of credit, and commercial loans and mortgages. Investment solutions are also offered to business customers, including brokerage services, tax-sheltered plans, term deposits. Individual customers are offered the full array of banking and borrowing products, from credit cards, personal loans, and mortgages to member cards, accounts, and more.

Creston & District Credit Union

Creston & District features insurance, investing, borrowing, and banking products as well as wealth management services. The selection of wealth management services includes income protection, estate planning, investment advice, life insurance, and retirement planning. Business customers are offered a selection of borrowing products such as commercial leasing, commercial letters and lines of credit, mortgages, and more. Business customers benefit from an array of investment products such as online brokerage, financial planning, tax-free savings accounts, mutual funds, term deposits, and more. Insurance products are also available, from recreational vehicle, boat, and auto insurance to special events, tenants, cross shareholder, and key man insurance. Banking solutions include merchant services, U.S. dollar chequing accounts, and more. Community accounts are offered to charities, clubs, and non-for-profits.

Cowichan Valley

The Cowichan Valley is situated around the Cowichan Lake, Bay, and River on Vancouver Island. This is a great place to visit, and there is plenty to see and do. Business opportunities also abound, and many businesses move to the Cowichan Valley due to its vibrant economy.

Tourism, Sports, and Activities

There are plenty of fun things to do, from wildlife viewing and biking to golf courses, camp sites, farmrs’ markets, and boating. Visitors enjoy water sports and activities such as whale watching, wind sports, tubing, diving, kayaking. There are several golf courses in the Cowichan Valley, including the Mount Brenton Golf Course, Duncan Meadows Golf Course, Arbutus Ridge Golf Club. The valley is also a great place for flying demonstrations and wildlife viewing. Visitors enjoy watching sea lions, harbor seals, black bears, and other animals. The Trans Canada Trail also crosses the region, which makes it an excellent spot for hiking.

Main Industries

The main industries in the Cowichan Valley are logging, mining, farming, and fishing. Other industries in the region include real estate, construction, processing and manufacturing, and technology. Many wineries and vineyards are found in the region, including Averill Creek, Vigneti Zanatta, Glenterra, Blue Grouse, and Cherry Point Vineyards. In The Town of Lake Cowichan, the main industries are forestry and tourism. Duncan is also a city situated in the Cowichan Valley and is the ideal place for dining, shopping, and tourism. The main industries here are tourism, professional services, retail, and healthcare services.

Business Climate, Key Priorities, and Future Developments

Roundtable discussions were organized in 2016 and 2017, and businesses from key sectors joined the discussions to exchange information and offer advice on how to improve the business climate. Business leaders from different industries participated in the discussions, including agriculture, real estate and construction, processing and manufacturing, technology, and tourism. Priorities were outlined in all sectors, for example, better cooperation and communication between the local authorities and the manufacturing and processing sector. Other key priorities are skills and labor development, infrastructure development, and a shared brand.

Efforts to Strengthen Business

The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce stated its commitment to strengthen business by means of mentorship, professional development activities, networking events, and other activities aimed at business growth and expansion. The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce also organizes tours of local restaurants, wineries, attractions, and businesses to help promote their services, products, and brand. Other efforts to improve the business climate include North Cowichan's plan to strengthen the resource sector and facilitate the development and growth of the knowledge and high-tech sector. Better opportunities for tourism and business promotion and expansion are also key priorities under the plan.

Reasons to Invest Locally

For startups and existing companies, there are many opportunities to grow and develop in the region. The main reasons are strategic location, easy and convenient access to urban markets, diverse and skilled labor force, and community and business organizations that are committed to the region’s stable and sustainable economic development.