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Business Examiner Spotlight

Raincoast Business Centres announced the opening of its newest business centre at 843 Yates Street in Victoria in June 1997. The fully renovated heritage-style building with its beautiful antique brickwork, spacious offices, wide hallways, high ceilings, and gracious setting offers an affordable environment for those businesses looking for professional surroundings and a downtown presence.

The centre is a joint venture between Raincoast, who currently operate a large centre in Nanaimo, and Gay Pringle, who previously owned Corporate Secretarial Services which served Victoria businesses for 12 years. The Nanaimo 'flagship' centre opened in 1991 and with this centre opening in 1997, Raincoast has begun its expansion in other B.C. communities.

As the Managing Director of the new centre, Gay knows more than just how to make an office work. She has 30 years experience as an executive assistant and office administrator, including several years as a consultant and trainer for businesses.

"There's more to running a business centre than just providing offices and equipment", said Pringle. "It's about service and the nuts and bolts of running an office."

And the Raincoast team understands that. By making an office run smooth as silk, they make it possible for the business clients to do what they're best at. They can simply run their businesses without having to worry about whether the photocopier's working, or that there's paper in the fax machine, or that someone will answer the phone, or that the light bulbs are changed.

The victoria centre features 22 offices, a boardroom, telephone reception with teleconferencing, secretarial services and desktop publishing, security system, air conditioning, easy parking and kitchen facilities. Clients can rent an office package, furnished or not, and make 843 Yates Street their business headquarters. Or they can use Raincoast's Business-on-the-Go Program which provides an affordable and unique package of business services for those people who need a professional image but not necessarily a full office. For these businesses, Raincoast can provide a mailing address, fax number, and e-mail to use on their letterhead, daily or weekly office rentals, boardroom rentals and personalized telephone reception.

"People like to deal with a real person", said Barbara Winter, Vice President Business Development. "Not everyone likes voicemail, in fact, few people do. People will keep calling until they reach a real person."

This high level of personal service is the touch that helps Raincoast clients become successful. Based on their experiences, both Pringle and Winter know that personal presence - even if just over the phone - is vital to gain the competitive edge for business. Pringle tells of a renovation business client who counts on the personal touch available through her business centre for the elderly clients that call. Their business would be lost with just voicemail. And people who depend on sales in their business really need that level of personal service for their customers.

The variety of businesses hanging their shingles at Raincoast Business Centres are as diverse as the ways to make a living. There are accounts, lawyers, counselors, non-profit associations, trainers and consultants. Large corporations needing a presence in Victoria will find the address they require at Raincoast, as do small businesses and home-based businesses making the switch from the distractions of home.

There's not much that Raincoast won't do to help a business. They've been known to make an office bigger, or smaller, furnish it or not. They'll schedule your appointments, receive courier shipments, do market research and customize an office or service package especially for you. Whatever it takes to be in business.

"It's hassle free", said Winter. "Business people can concentrate on what they do best and let us worry about the rest."

It's all about business at Raincoast.

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