Q: What are the top business opportunities in the area?


A: A recent competitive assessment of the Oceanside area (Parksville-Qualicum Beach) listed the following opportunities: 1. Technology‐reliant firms that require superior fibre optic connections. There is a huge potential  range of business types that could fit in this category but they are all generally office‐based and  provide their goods or services electronically anywhere around the world. Some examples raised include educational technology and instructional design or remote administrative services that require direct fibre optic connections.     2. Lifestyle‐motivated entrepreneurs. Oceanside already attracts many people who could be  called “amenity migrants”, which is a term for those who choose where to live based on quality of life and then make the best of the employment and business opportunities in that place. A related group is what economic developers call “lone wolves,” who are typically highly educated and work independently in self‐employment or as tele‐commuters. Because their work and  lifestyle is highly mobile, they are also attracted by unique places and experiences, provided they have basic amenities like high‐quality telecommunications services and access to an airport. These entrepreneurs could theoretically work in any sector, but it is assumed in this analysis that they are primarily professionals who work in an office setting (either at home or in  a commercial office). There is likely to be some overlap between this opportunity and the previous opportunity for technology‐reliant firms.     3. Health care facilities or services. Private businesses operating as a complement to public hospitals in neighbouring communities exist in Qualicum Beach (although also some opportunities for public health care  expansion). Some of the services may be privately run but still funded through the public system  (e.g., rehabilitation centres or various therapy clinics).      4. Tourism product development. The industry capitalizes on the region's natural assets (e.g. Mount Arrowsmith) as well as develops new destination attractions (e.g., casino, water park). Oceanside is believed to be saturated with hotel/resort product and therefore what is needed are more reasons for visitors to come to the region. (p. 28 Final Report, Vann Struth Consulting Group, 2012, Competitive Assessment of the Oceanside Economy)