Business climate warms

New owner takes over established business, new restaurant opening soon and new building in the works for longtime retailer.

CINDY PALMER'S new sushi bar opens soon in the old Villa 46 location on Lakelse Ave.

THE NUMBER of business licences granted to start this year is up from last year.

At the end of this January, the number was 1,042 whereas at the end of January 2012 it was 1,027.

There have been 32 closures this January but 11 openings and 26 re-openings whereas January 2012 saw 12 closures and 17 openings.

And that translates into a young woman owning her own business earlier than expected.

Amy Credgeur, 20, is the new owner of Petland, having officially taken over Feb. 1 from former owner Rick Williams, who moved to Smithers.

“I thought about it for quite a while,” said Credgeur.

“I thought about it and there’s nothing else I’m interested in right now.”

She attended Northwest Community College for a year and a half, taking business administration and science courses, while working full-time at the pet store before deciding to take time off from school.

And now she knows she won’t be returning to school.

Credgeur has worked at Petland for five years now, and had spent a year-and-a-half volunteering there before that.

She had thought about owning her own business, but sometime in the future.

Completely new to the local business scene is Cindy Palmer.

She’s behind The Blue Fin Sushi Bar which is set to open soon in the former Villa 46 location on Lakelse Ave. next to the Inn of the West.

After a bit of remodelling, adding a sushi bar, hostess stand, a coat of paint and new flooring in the bathrooms, the restaurant is almost ready to go.

Palmer, who also owns a Blue Fin Sushi Bar in Smithers, says the time was right to open one here.

She had enough staff in Smithers to have four re-locate here to work in the new restaurant, an asset since they know the menu and Palmer’s standards, she said.

And she’s hired three staff members here and is thinking of hiring more, she added.

“I’ve had my sushi bar in Smithers for nine years and have customers who live in Terrace and Kitimat and people have been telling me, asking me, begging me, for a few years now to open one in Terrace,” said Palmer, adding she’s been thinking about it for about three years.

There are four seats at the sushi bar and 24 more seats at tables, about half the size of the Smithers restaurant.

Meanwhile, city council has given its approval to a plan by an existing business to amend a previously-granted development permit.

Kondola’s, now on Lakelse Ave., wants to move to a new structure on the south side section of Kalum right across the street from Tim Hortons and bounding on Hwy16.

In the committee of the whole at the Jan. 28 council meeting, director of development services David Block recommended passage of an amendment to an existing development permit.

It would reduce the amount of gross floor area to 2,776 square metres, and eliminate two proposed lease retail spaces that had been contained in the original permit.

The first development permit proposal was for a two-storey retail building that exceeded a 4,500 square metre gross floor area size limitation contained in the provincial transportation act.

The plan would have then required review and approval by the provincial transportation ministry.

Making the amended proposal for a smaller building removes those requirements.

Kondolas will still need the approval and issuing of an access permit to Hwy 16 by the ministry for the proposed right turn only exit from the parking area onto the eastbound lanes of Hwy 16.

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