The City’s Business Expansion and Attraction Task Force held its first meeting Wednesday morning and began the task of prioritizing recommendations from the Business Expansion and Attraction Strategy (BEAS) and identifying implementation partners.
The task force is comprised of: Tracey Gard, Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce; Sheila Mortensen, Williams Lake and Central Business Improvement Area; Ray Sanders, Thompson Rivers University, Williams Lake; Glen Holling, RE/MAX; Ross MacLean, Gibraltar Mine; Coun. Geoff Bourdon; and Mayor Kerry Cook. The BEAS contains six strategy areas that are focused on moving the city towards its objective of a larger and more diversified economy.
“Economic development is about mustering forces to attract and maintain business,” says task force chair Dr. Ray Sanders. “Everyone needs a voice, every community in North America is trying to expand and attract business. We have to be fundamentally different and creative in our approach.
“We need to look at all of the reasons someone would want to invest, live, and play in our region and strengthen them. We must also look at the reasons someone would not invest, live, and play in our region and mitigate these. Arts and culture are as important as economic and social issues to business and industry. We need long-term, mid-range, and short-term goals that are driven with vision and passion. Success should be celebrated and clear metrics established.”
The task force is to report back to council by Dec. 31.