ʔaq̓am Trading has continued to perform well in the second quarter of 2020 considering what we have gone through with the Covid-19 pandemic. Even though the retail store was closed for two weeks in March we maintained a healthy net profitability through the first two quarters of 2020. The store staff and management continue to maintain cleaning and sanitization protocols with the health and safety of our staff and customers as the top priority. We are starting to see traffic in the store is slowly increase with summer arriving and the gradual re-opening of St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino.
Utility Scale Solar Project
Now that the legal survey for the project site has been completed the ʔaq̓am Lands team suggested we put our focus on completing an updated project description. Once the updated project description is complete we can begin drafting the lease documents. The team at Fortis will be tackling this piece of work to submit to our Lands department by the end of June. The updated project description is an important next step to allow us to begin drafting the lease with the Band and then identifying the next priority lease requirements, which are land assessment, the archaeological assessment, further environmental and some geo-technical work. The preparation work continues as we continue to advocate alongside Chief and Council for a Power Purchase Agreement with the Province and BC Hydro for our power project.
D&B Flagging & Traffic Control
Carlin Dennis, our newest manager for D&B, is doing a great job of managing our newest company. Carlin has spent the spring setting-up new controls and policies and has created a full inclusive team atmosphere with his staff. Carlin has a strong relationship focus with our client base and has been working hard on diversifying the service offerings that D&B provides.
May and June 2020 have brought record sales revenues for D&B and we have been operating at full capacity for the last few months with our busiest four months ahead of us. We look forward to a busy and profitable 2020.
Renewable Forest License
ACE continues to manage and negotiate volume sales with Canfor and British Columbia Timber Sales with our renewable forest license.
No further updates at this time. Our feasibility study and design planning is currently being completed by Iplayco. We expect to see the feasibility report, design and business plan by mid summer.
Agriculture Project – Opportunity Assessment
As part of the initial provincial grant that ACE received, our opportunity assessment report was completed and submitted by our contracted agrologist Andrea Gunner. This report outlines our best opportunities of crops that we can grow, how to grow them and who and how to sell.
The Province has given ACE the go ahead to apply into step two of this agriculture program that provides an additional $10K for business and model planning based off the opportunity assessment report that we just received.
ACE continues negotiations with two local companies on opportunities to work together.
Allnorth - Our partnership with Allnorth continues to be a reliable, consistent source of revenue for ACE. We continue to identify and then bid on opportunities together.
FortisBC – We continue to work together through a renewed Memorandum of Understanding towards a utility scale solar project.
Canadian Mountain Holidays – We continue to work with CMH with a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines opportunities for employment, training and culture & language connections.
Nupqu – We continue to operate and manage D&B Flagging & Traffic Control alongside Nupqu.
Business Development Grants 2020
In the spirit of continued support to ʔaq̓ams individual community entrepreneurs, ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises released the 2020 Business Development Grant Application on March 16th, 2020. Applications then closed on April 17th. This year again brought a good number of quality applications. This always makes for more challenging decision-making, which is a good problem to have considering the numbers of applications we are now seeing each year.
More and more ʔaq̓am community members are stepping forward with their business ideas, and taking action. We have been fortunate to observe varying levels of growth and development in several existing business owners and we are always excited to see what new ideas come forth.
ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises is pleased to announce the following 2020 Business Development Grant Recipients.
Ashley O’Neil – Ash FireWear
Ashley O’Neil is the founder of Ash FireWear. She has a background in firefighting, and during this time, she realized that there was a need for work clothing and gear designed specifically for women. This led her to create several prototypes, which Ashley eventually made into high quality demo versions with a company based in Vancouver. Before approaching ACE, Ashley already had an order commitment for her clothing, which demonstrated to us her commitment to her vision. ACE is looking forward to supporting Ashley now into production of her new clothing line.
Shelley Collinson – Genealogy
Shelley is looking to provide genealogy services for the Ktunaxa Nation, and other First Nations communities. Shelley has over 20 years experience working with families and genealogy records and has acquired a vast amount of knowledge during this time. This type of work is valuable to the Ktunaxa and many other First Nation communities.
Sheri Corrie – Arrowhead Engraving
Sheri started Arrowhead Engraving primarily as a company offering engraving on a large variety of items. Since her start, Sheri has expanded into the market of digital heat printing, and now has further plans to expand her market with hydro dipping. We are excited to see Sheri’s business get to the next level.
ACE is currently exploring two business opportunities that are confidential. ACE continues to identify new business opportunities/endeavors as they present themselves.
CEO for ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises