Sechelt, which benefits from an attractive coastal environment, moderate climate, and easy access to the Lower Mainland, has seen heightened development activity since 2002. Between 2005 and 2006, Sechelt experienced a 4.5% growth in population; over twice our Provincial average for that period. The numbers of people looking to 'escape the city' has lead to a huge demand for real estate development and construction services in our community. With rapid population growth, the demand for local retail and personal services is also expanding. Small business starts are on the increase.
Tourism continues as a primary economic driver. Festivals, art tours, and eco-adventure products are attracting an increasing number of tourists to our community. With markets for forest and fish products improving over recent years, economic activity in these primary industries has rebounded in the Sechelt area. In 2006, Sechelt gained a Community Forest Licence and plans are being prepared for the development of both primary production and value added forestry initiatives.
There is also increased interest in area aggregate deposits. Lehigh Aggregates continues to expand its mine development and Pan Pacific Aggregates exploring potential mine development on its mineral holdings. Both firms rely heavily on Sechelt as a labour and supply source.