39/20 Goals

The creation of Strength In Numbers: 39/20 Alliance Economic Development Strategy will play an important role in achieving the economic development priority, and will support a number of the goals identified in the Alliance’s strategic plan.

In order to develop this economic development strategy for the region, member communities first undertook a comprehensive community engagement effort to garner a high level of buy-in from residents and business leaders. The development of this strategy comprised numerous community engagement activities, and sought the input from stakeholders throughout the development of the plan.

In order to provide clear insight to Alliance member communities what can be expected from economic development efforts, a comprehensive review of economic development principles was undertaken in developing this plan.

Through the public engagement process and a thorough review of statutory plans from each member community, common themes emerged that serve as the basis for this strategy.

Based on extensive research, and internationally-recognized economic development best practices from across North America, this strategy not only recommends simply what to do, but also how to do it.

Current Goals

As indicated in this report, most new business opportunities will come from businesses and residents already in the community/region.

How to do it:
  • Develop ongoing communications with local business community/organizations
  • Ensure business leaders have a voice in the community
  • Maintain inventory of business information/contacts (i.e. Business Link, Productivity Alberta, Travel Alberta, etc.) to support small business growth
  • Appoint one economic development point of contact (no wrong-window approach)
  • Business will choose the path of least resistance, and will often locate where land/buildings, and other infrastructure are already in place. Remember, time is money, so business will want to get moving as quickly as possible. You can’t sell from an empty basket!

    How to do it:
  • Ensure adequate supply of “shovel ready” land is available at all times
  • Ensure future zoning/development land is available to handle local business expansions
  • Develop housing alternatives to accommodate workforce attraction
  • Clear, concise and fair rules/policies are in place to accommodate new development
  • Apply bylaws evenly and consistently
  • Create zoning/permit applications that are easily understood and processed in a timely manner
  • The 39/20 Alliance has adopted a preferred model for regional economic development. Additional work needs to be completed in order to move forward with regional economic development activities.

    How to do it:
  • Pursue shared services for processing development permits and other mandatory development forms
  • Develop SMART goals and measures for 2015-2017
  • Identify potential opportunities (Genesee expansion, Warburg Hutterite Colony, etc.)
  • Identify unique opportunities for tourism
  • Apply bylaws evenly and consistently
  • Identify/secure funding sources to support economic development activities
  • It is important to communicate with stakeholders, both local and external to the region. An informative and accurate web site will serve both existing business and potential new business enterprises looking to locate within the region.

    How to do it:
  • Develop regional community profiles [COMPLETE]
  • Assign one person responsible for update and accuracy of the information
  • Utilize shared IT platform (Shared Services Study)
  • Institute One Calendar, or similar application to promote local and regional events and activities (may also be used for identifying available facilities) [COMPLETE]
  • One means of supporting local business is to promote regional businesses to residents and other businesses alike. The creation of a regional business license will facilitate ease of doing business in all member communities. The regional business license will form the basis of a regional business directory to be included on the regional website.

    How to do it:
  • Develop a regional business license program (add-on to existing license at nominal fee) [COMPLETE]
  • Gather data on all businesses and publish on the web site
  • Stakeholders in the public consultation process identified the need to rally around a project/theme. Creating a regional vision/brand will give everyone an opportunity to buy-in to the region’s future aspirations.

    How to do it:
  • Adopt and promote the recommended branding/vision undertaken by 39/20 Alliance [COMPLETE]
  • Use the branding and associated tag lines in local and regional communications [COMPLETE]
  • Develop collateral materials (stationery, business cards, banners and displays) with the new brand, and utilize the branding collateral materials on the web site, by participating in local and regional events and celebrations
  • Communication between Council, Administration, residents and businesses was identified as a concern in each community consultation. Stakeholders want to know what is going on, why things are done the way they are, and how they can be informed better so they can understand the inner workings of running a municipality.

    How to do it:
  • Enact the recommendations contained within the 39/20 Alliance Internal Communications Strategy (Strategem Plus Report)
  • Stakeholders want to know that their voices were being heard, and that their advice was being considered by the respective Councils and staff. Council and staff have to find new ways to “listen” to the stakeholders and not immediately defend their positions, but try to understand the issues from a business point of view.

    How to do it:
  • Provide ample opportunity to network and “listen” to business and community leaders
  • Engage with community groups and organizations to better understand the wants and needs of the community
  • Actively partner and attend community events to engage with citizens and to promote the values of the 39/20 Alliance