Economic Development Strategy
We're working to support the success of our businesses and build a diverse and resilient local economy, as envisioned in our Official Community Plan (OCP).
Our Economic Development Strategy — co-created with business and economic development stakeholders — will identify, prioritize, and resource relevant 2021 OCP Action Plan initiatives, and help focus our business services and economic development resources.
News and updates
January 22, 2024 — Interim Deliverable: Economic analysis and business engagement results
The interim Economic Development Strategy report presents:
- Key findings from a comprehensive economic and employment lands analysis for the District
- Results from the online business survey completed in the fall of 2023
- Input received from the business workshops held in November, 2023
The key findings and recommendations from the research and business engagement phase will be used to inform and produce the final deliverable – the Economic Development Strategy itself – anticipated for spring 2024.
November 9 and 14, 2023 — Business workshops
Are you a District business? Join us in an upcoming in-person workshop and collaborate with other local businesses to:
- identify the common trends, challenges and opportunities facing business and the District economy
- formalize priority areas for local economic development
- work together on specific ideas, initiatives, and solutions
As a District business, your perspective and insights are an invaluable asset to developing the Strategy, and will help shape how we serve the local business community and support a diverse and resilient local economy.
September 11 to October 8, 2023 — Online business survey
Do you own or operate a local business, or live or work in the District? We want to hear about your experiences and thoughts on the District economy. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts. We’ll use your feedback to help create a strategy that will support local businesses and jobs now and in the future.
Thank you for your participation. The survey has now closed.
Developing a formal strategy to support our economic goals
Our Economic Development Strategy will contain a set of goals, strategies, programs, and projects for us to implement to achieve our 2030 economic development objectives. It will determine a service delivery model and provide resourcing recommendations for meaningful implementation.
How we'll develop the strategy
The strategy will be developed in two major phases:
- Produce an employment lands, industry, and asset analysis report with recommendations.
- Develop a strategy document with our economic development vision and goals, key strategies to achieve those goals, supporting programs and projects to implement the strategy, and a service delivery and resourcing model.
We'll engage staff and Council at key stages of the project. We anticipate the final strategy will be completed in Spring 2024.
Our guiding principles
The strategy's development and deliverables are guided by three core principles:
- Inclusive and meaningful engagement — A comprehensive business engagement plan will accompany the strategy's preparation
- Asset-based, opportunity-founded, and data-driven approach — A thorough employment lands, industry trends, and community assets review will inform the strategy's development
- Visionary yet flexible, with actionable outcomes — The strategy presents an opportunity for us to express our vision as a community to do business and invest in, as well as prioritize specific programs and projects towards achieving key goals
Connecting with District businesses and economic development partners
With the support of a consultant, we will talk to businesses and economic development partners to understand the current state, and develop a future state for the District economy.
Our approach will offer multiple opportunities for public input during Fall 2023, including:
- Online business survey from September 11 to October 8, 2023
- Business roundtables in November, 2023 — Facilitated conversations with District businesses and economic development ecosystem partners
- Business task force — Formed to provide feedback and guidance on key strategy deliverables for the duration of the project
A cross-departmental staff working group will also support the strategy's development.
Supporting our OCP Action Plan
Both the 2011 OCP, and the 2021 OCP Action Plan set the main plan for us to collaborate with businesses and economic development partners. They aim to address issues like transportation, housing, and climate change while also investing in opportunities to create a strong and secure local economy.
The pandemic, inflation, and global economic challenges have made these issues more challenging, but they have also opened up new possibilities. This calls for a focused and strategic approach to local economic development.
Documents and resources
Related Council documents
- January 22, 2023 – Staff report to Council (Economic Development Strategy Interim Deliverable)
- May 3, 2023 — Staff report to Council (Economic Development Strategy Update)
- February 13, 2023 — Staff report to Council
- February 13, 2023 — Staff presentation to Council (2023 Economic Development Initiatives)
Related project documents
- December 2023 – Economic and Employment Lands Analysis
- November 2023 – Input from Business Workshops
- October 2023 – Summary of Online Survey Results