In our first full year of business in the new store, we were able to meet our sales goal, and came just short of our net profit goals. To us this is a major milestone and shows us the potential of our new business. We continue to work on product diversification, marketing and the addition of First Nations art.
The covid19 pandemic caused the closure of our retail store for two weeks in March. The safety of our staff and community came first as daily updates and information about the spread of this new disease came in. Pay at the pump fuel was still available for our customers during the retail store closure.
ʔaq̓am Trading re-opened at the beginning of April. Staff and customer safety measures are now in place along with new sanitization protocols.
We will ride out this pandemic safely by continuing to adapt our business operations and we look forward to one day going back to regular operations.
Utility Scale Solar Project
In January 2020, ACE was pleased to sign a newly updated Memorandum of Understanding with the team at FortisBC with the intention of building a utility scale solar project. FortisBC continues to bring a vast array of industry knowledge and resources.
The 230-acre survey for our project site is complete. Our next steps will be completing the remaining environmental, land assessment and archaeology requirements as part of our lease with ʔaq̓am.
We will continue to work towards completing the lease requirements alongside ʔaq̓am with the goal of having the project site ‘shovel-ready’ as we continue to negotiate a power purchase agreement with the province.
D&B Flagging & Traffic Control
Carlin Dennis has been hired as the new D&B Manager and took over operations on February 27th, 2020. Carlin brings with him a vast array of industry knowledge and experience. We welcome Carlin to our team and look forward to his leadership for our newest business acquisition.
The new rates for the 2020 season are approved and posted on our website. www.dbflagging.ca. We are looking forward to a busy construction season!
Renewable Forest License A92027
ACE continues to manage the renewable forest license for ʔaq̓am alongside the Lands department. We continue to negotiate profitable deals to bring in important revenues into ʔaq̓am Resources.
Adventure Park Feasibility Study
This feasibility project continues after receiving funding from Indigenous Services Canada, in addition to contributions made by ACE. The budget will go towards completing a feasibility study to look at building an adventure park business in our area.
After receiving three bids ACE has chosen a company to complete a feasibility study, 2D concept drawing, business plan, and initial budget.
We also know that ʔaq̓am is in the initial stages of a feasibility study for a recreation/multi-sport complex. There are some easy synergies here with both of these projects and we have directed the company we hired to work alongside ʔaq̓am.
Research Development Institute – Employment Lands Mapping Project
The research Development Institute (RDI) has reached out to all of the communities within the Columbia Basin working on an “Employment Lands Inventory Project” which is collaboratively managed with Selkirk College.
“The Employment Lands Inventory Project will directly address an issue faced by many communities: access to land to accommodate existing business expansion and future investment and economic growth. “This project will provide several important deliverables,” says Rob Gay, General Manager of Community Futures East Kootenay, the lead organization on the project. “The first of these is a comprehensive inventory of employment lands.”
The project defines employment lands as lands that generate economic wealth, including: agricultural lands; lands zoned or designated for heavy industry, light industry and commercial; First Nations designated employment lands; brown and greyfield sites; and Crown lands available for development. The Selkirk College is building a Web Portal that will provide a set of sophisticated query and interactive mapping tools for exploring the economic landscape of the Canadian Columbia Basin Region. The portal is aimed at decision makers, investors and business owners in the region.
The mapping and marketing being done through this project will help to attract investors and assist us in getting the word out on the lands that we do have available for development.
Kimberley Riverside Campground
After receiving support from Chief and Council in December of 2019, ACE proceeded to submit a bid to acquire the Kimberley Riverside Campground that was up for sale from the City of Kimberley. On January 15, 2020, we were notified by the City of Kimberley that our bid was unfortunately not chosen as the successful purchaser. Although we were disappointed, ACE will continue to identify and pursue strong and profitable business start-ups and acquisitions as part of our 2020 Work Plan.
We are currently in negotiations with local companies to make our gravel pit operational in 2020.
Allnorth Engineering Partnership
We continue to identify bid opportunities together with Allnorth Engineering and look forward to a profitable 2020.
ACE continues to identify and apply for grants that support our 2020 work plan.
2020 Community Business Development Grant
On March 16 2020, ACE released the 2020 application for the annual Community Business Development Grant. We are excited to see what ideas/expansions will come from ʔaq̓am community members this year. The closing date for this year’s application is April 17, 2020.
Annual General Meeting
The ACE Annual General Meeting has been postposed until further notice due to the covid19 pandemic.
ACE continues to identify new business opportunities as part of our 2020 work plan.