Good news reported this week when it comes to the Castlegar economy

The Economic Development Officer for Castlegar and District says a lot of the positive data that came out of the State of the Kootenays Economic Forum last week aligns with Castlegar data.

Mark Laver says they have increases in business activity, increases in new business starts, low unemployment rates, and increased wages...although one down side would be house prices increasing.

Laver met with council to provide an annual report this week.

He says they just finished the first year of the Economic Development program where a lot of it was data collecting and marketing, and understanding where the economy is and where it's going in the future.

He says a campaign called storefront opportunities has been very successful, taking businesses and entrepreneurs on tours of empty spaces.

According to Laver  that's led to retail spaces filling up throughout the city.

Meanwhile Laver says they're looking to attract new businesses, and they also need to focus on retention of current businesses.

An interesting note, he says while low unemployment isn't a bad thing, it can mean not enough qualified people in the region to fill spots, which means employers having to go further afield to find employees.