Big business news in Powell River in 2018 included the sale of Catalyst Paper Corporation to Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corporation in October. The business facedpunishing anti-dumping duties from United States Department of Commerce throughout the year, and although those tariffs have been lifted, it has also experienced fibre shortages and energy cost increases.
In July, premier John Horgan announced that BC’s provincial government had amended the Pension Benefits Standards Regulation to protect the pensions and jobs of Catalyst Paper Corporation retirees and employees at its Powell River mill.
Santé Veritas Therapeutics, the company building a cannabis facility in Townsite, merged with Baker Technologies, Sea Hunter and Briteside, all United States-based companies, to create a new multinational corporation called TILT.
In February, First Credit Union said farewell to president and chief executive officer Dave Craigen after 25 years at the helm and welcomed Linda Bowyer as its new CEO.
Powell River’s Townsite Brewing was recognized as Top Processing Business at Les Lauriers de la PME, hosted by Economic Development and Employability Network (RDÉE Canada) in September and won BC Ale Trail’s inaugural Best Brewery Experience award in November.
Powell River’s Little Hut Curry made it to the final round in a province-wide competition to name BC’s Best Immigrant Entrepreneur. The restaurant, owned and operated by Janmeet Kaur and Mohinder Singh, was one of 600 entries across the province and one of 16 chosen in its category.
Brooks Secondary School graduate Julius Makarewicz was named by BC Business Magazine in its annual 30 Under 30 for his product Nude Vodka Soda, a low-calorie, gluten-free, sweetener-free adult beverage, which he co-founded with business partner and head of sales Jerin Mece.
Rania Chakkl, with the help of business mentor Mar Grantham and an outpouring of community support, founded Mama Rania’s Syrian Cuisine Hummus.
A shared love of sailing and coffee inspired Alyssa Stapleton and Mat Janeway to start Float Coffee Co., an onboard coffee roaster and café on their 34-foot pilothouse sloop, Rainbow.
After 64 years in business, Anderson’s Men’s Wear closed its doors in December. Owner Keith Anderson and his father Jim, who founded the store, dressed generations of Powell River residents and shared milestones with its clientele over the decades.Women’s clothing store The Knack launched a Canada-wide e-commerce site this year.
Fruits and Roots Juice Bar made its move to Town Centre Mall, and Melissa Sloos and Nichole Strickland took over ownership of Coast Fitness from Debbie Duyvesteyn. Chef John Walls of House of Culinary Magic opened up in the space where The Modern Peasant recently closed on Marine Avenue.
Ecossentials Local Market welcomed 7 Sprouts Plant-Based Deli to its restaurant space and Sli City Grill Mobile Food Truck and Catering officially launched its mobile food truck in May.
Finally, Townsite Market held its grand opening celebration on December 9. The project took about four years to complete. It includes 17 artisan shops including a fruit and vegetable store, kiosks and Powell River Climbing Co-op. Two anchor tenants, Base Camp and Hearth and Grain bakery, will be open early next year, as well as a board-game store and SassyMack’s Ice Cream.