Tuesday, September 13, 2011

City of WL appoints new Business Attraction/Retention Task Force

From the City of Williams Lake:

Editor's Note - Councillor Rathor, at Tuesday's WL Council meeting, expressed doubts that the Task Force can be up and running and report out by December 31st, given the number of regular meetings left in this term (Oct 4th/18th and November 1st, 15th, and 29th).  I agree with Councillor Rathor.  Better to wait until a new Council comes in and decides what to do with the BEAS

At its regular meeting Tuesday evening, Williams Lake City Council approved the establishment of a Business Expansion and Attraction Task Force (BEAS), to be comprised of two City Councillors and up to five members of the community.

The BEAS contains six Strategy Areas that are focused on moving the City towards its strategic objective of a larger and more diversified economy. Within each Strategy Area, there are a number of Strategic Initiatives, many of which will benefit from the support and/or leadership networks of other community partners to deliver. Examples include:

Reviewing the mill rates for major industry
Work with local mining companies to identify material suppliers they use which are located outside of the Cariboo, and engage these suppliers to see if there is potential to local offices or provide services from Williams Lake
Create an investwilliamslake.com website to effectively promote Williams Lake to key target markets and sectors
Helping to address local rail issues for industrial clients
Collaborate with merchants and land owners to enhance and strengthen the ongoing growth and attraction of retailers and commercial enterprises in the downtown.
Support Thompson Rivers University in developing its northern campus and
local program expansion, particularly as it pertains to attracting investment
from outside.

Implementation of or participation in these initiatives by other organization cannot be mandated by Council. Rather, Council needs to inform and educate those organizations which could play a role and solicit their participation through a common desire to see an improved economy in Williams Lake.

As such, the Striking Committee of Council will consider staff recommendations for membership to the Task Force, and will recommend up to five individuals that have related experience and an ability to influence others in the business community for Council as a whole to appoint. The Task Force’s term will end on Dec. 31, 2011.

“This is a major initiative to help improve our economy, and unique in that it will be driven by community members,” says Mayor Kerry Cook. “We all want to see the economy improved, and we all need to work together to make it happen. Partnerships are vital, and I know this Task Force will enhance the implementation of the BEAS and increase the involvement of the community in economic development.”

Council has adopted an Industrial Revitalization Strategy to encourage new industrial development to locate in Williams Lake and for local industries to expand, has committed to reviewing industrial mill rates with the aim of reducing them, and will undertake a community branding process. In addition, Council has introduced crime reduction strategies, invested in infrastructure and arts and culture to help create a positive atmosphere to attract and retain business.

For more information please contact:

Alan Madrigga - Economic Development Manager
The City of Williams Lake
Ph: 250 392-1764
Email: amadrigga@williamslake.ca

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