Doing Business in Downtown Vernon

downtown vernonDowntown Vernon is a community that is always increasing and developing.Thanks to this new boost in economy we are able to see new businesses open their doors every month. Some of these new entrepreneurs  are old members of our community and others are new to our community, but they have something in common, they want our town to improve and keep on the road of progress.Business owners refer to our community as a great investing thanks to the help of the business owners association and the city council that always looks for the well being of all its associates.Just in the last year 140 new businesses started operations offering from dental care to auto parts , from new lawyers offices to technical education centers.

We did a pool between new members of our association asking about why they chose Downtown Vernon to start their business endeavors and the answer was almost unanimous: “We love the sense of community .More than a town I think that people see themselves as part of a great family.Thats what I love about Vernon and that is the reason I wanted to invest here and start a new business” said Carl James owner of Horse Power Auto Parts. “People here are really nice and friendly. I wake up everyday wanting to go to work because I know I will have a great day ahead of me” said Hellen Becker owner of Small Details Gift Shop.

Small Details Gift Shop and Horse Power Auto Parts opened this year and both agree that Vernon is a great place to start a business. Some of the reasons they considered before making a decision were security, internet connection speeds and rent. They considered that rent was a major factor to choose Downtown Vernon over other towns because they think prices are fair and they do not have to sign any long term agreements.Other factor was the help they get from the business association, there they can ask any legal concern and ask for advice when they have any problem with public services.

Priscila Smith owner of Bread and Latte coffee shop said that Downtown Vernon reminds her of smalls towns on Europe. She said she studied in France and Switzerland for 4 years and something she loved to do was to go for a walk and enjoy the beautiful view while drinking a hot  latte. She said the first time she visited Vernon 2 years ago she had the same feeling and she decided to move in and open a coffee shop.“I really enjoy going to work and have this beautiful view in from of me. It makes me travel in time to my student days.Any worry I have disappears almost instantly when I see the mountains and the lake” she said.

On other post we will be talking with more business owners and their experiences while doing businesses in our town.We will be also provide some advices on how to operate a business successfully, so stay tune .

Vernon: My Time Here Before Relocating To Costa Rica

Having been born and raised in northern British Columbia in a small mill town called Prince George, at the young age of 18 I decided to pack up my belongings and move to the Okanagan.

Family fun on Okanagan LakeFirst I moved to Kelowna for a short stint then when that didn’t work out I moved for another short time in to Vernon in the downtown region.

There are plenty of differences between the two lakeside cities of Vernon and Kelowna but the most obvious is the “quaintness” Vernon has over it’s bigger brother Kelowna. The people in Vernon have more of a small town attitude about them compared to the fast growing Kelowna where there’s a large disconnect from the community in which it was founded.

Now I’m not going to pretend I spent much time in Vernon cause that isn’t entirely true however I did spend two seasons there in 1990 before heading back to Prince George. During my time in Vernon I had the pleasure of getting to know not only the free spirited people but also the incredibly beautiful surroundings of living along Lake Okanagan.

Vernon for me is a place designed to encourage people to live life outdoors and enjoy their surroundings. With so much to do around the area, Vernon is abound with daily activities and festivities. Come winter this doesn’t change with some of the provinces best ski hills, Vernon attracts thousands of tourists each winter season.

These days I own and operate the largest local travel agency in Costa Rica – Costa Rica Vacations (CRV) – yet, believe it or not, there are striking similarities to the Okanagan with the way the Costa Ricans live – outdoors and family time are critical.

When I was asked to write a short blurb about the region (Vernon in particular) I jumped on the chance to express my ties to this amazing place.

So pura vida from Costa Rica and next time I’m in Canada – as always – I will be sure to visit my beloved Vernon.

For more information on Don Halbert and/or his travel agency, visit