BUSI­NESS

Southwest Booster - - NEWS -

Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee mem­ber, said this cur­rent ini­tia­tive is a key step to con­tin­u­ing the busi­ness mo­men­tum in the South­west. He said this op­por­tu­nity has the po­ten­tial to be as suc­cess­ful as Ac­tion Swift Cur­rent was a num­ber of years ago.

“The times in Swift Cur­rent were very dif­fer­ent. The com­mu­nity it­self was stalled. In­stead of change we were kick­ing stones down the street. It was through the com­mit­ment and en­ergy of peo­ple like your­selves, and the com­mu­nity it­self, that we came to­gether and fi­nally saw the power of one.”

“It’s great to see this restart­ing. If you don’t mea­sure your­self, if you don’t do some re­search ev­ery once and a while, you’ll never find out what you may be lack­ing, may need, or what op­por­tu­ni­ties are truly there.”

Chilton said that ideas gen­er­ated by the BRE need to be good for the en­tire com­mu­nity, not just one sec­tor.

“One of the most im­por­tant things we will have to do in this ini­tia­tive is again lis­ten care­fully, and lis­ten very care­fully. The an­swers will be there,” he said. “We need to make sure that the si­los of self in­ter­est do not re­build.”

San­dra Blyth CEO of con­sult­ing firm Onagon In­ter­na­tional, the lead con­sult­ing firm for the project, said the sur­vey is aim­ing to col­lect some very spe­cific data.

“It’s all about re­ally fig­ur­ing out how busi­ness per­ceives the busi­ness com­mu­nity in Swift Cur­rent. What are the things that are work­ing, what are the things that aren’t work­ing,” Blyth said. “It re­ally gets into some gen­eral ar­eas, and then some more spe­cific ar­eas.”

“Some of the ques­tions talk about labour. How’s labour go­ing? How are you do­ing with hir­ing peo­ple? What tools are you us­ing to hire peo­ple or source in­di­vid­u­als? It also gets into things like in­fra­struc­ture. Are you happy with the sys­tems of in­fra­struc­ture in the City of Swift Cur­rent?”

“There’s a lot of in­for­ma­tion in there, but it’s crit­i­cal pieces of in­for­ma­tion that’ll al­low the City of Swift Cur­rent to be able to plan and move for­ward with eco­nomic and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment plan­ning that fits the busi­ness com­mu­nity. So it’s an op­por­tu­nity for busi­ness to re­ally have a voice, and be able to ef­fect the ac­tion that hap­pens mov­ing for­ward.”

The ob­jec­tives of the BRE Ini­tia­tive are to:

• Ac­cu­rately as­sess the needs of lo­cal busi­ness

• Con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of a strate­gic ac­tion plan for eco­nomic pros­per­ity

• Pro­vide sup­port/in­for­ma­tion to ad­dress im­me­di­ate in­di­vid­ual busi­ness is­sues and op­por­tu­ni­ties

• En­hance co­op­er­a­tion and con­sen­sus among busi­nesses, lo­cal gov­ern­ment and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions

“Help­ing de­velop our ex­ist­ing busi­nesses and cre­at­ing wealth and jobs is crit­i­cal to the health and vi­tal­ity of any com­mu­nity,” says Darla Lind­b­jerg, CEO, Swift Cur­rent and Dis­trict Cham­ber of Com­merce. “The BRE ini­tia­tive has al­ready been im­ple­mented with very good re­sults in many coun­tries around the globe over the last 25 years. One of the rea­sons for its pop­u­lar­ity is that it not only con­trib­utes to a long range plan for the com­mu­nity but also yields some shor­trange tan­gi­ble re­sults. I am very ex­cited to hear what our busi­nesses have to say about Swift Cur­rent as a place to do busi­ness. This project will as­sist us, as a Cham­ber, to iden­tify and fo­cus our pri­or­i­ties in ar­eas that are most im­por­tant to our busi­ness com­mu­nity.”

Swift Cur­rent and area busi­nesses have been con­tacted by mail ask­ing them to par­tic­i­pate in the con­fi­den­tial on-line ini­tia­tive which runs un­til Valen­tine’s Day.

Fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion of the on-line col­lec­tion pe­riod, the BRE Com­mit­tee will re­spond to any busi­nesses that have iden­ti­fied items that re­quire im­me­di­ate at­ten­tion and will help pro­vide al­ter­na­tives and po­ten­tial so­lu­tions.

Af­ter all data is col­lected, the project then moves into the strate­gic plan­ning phase, when the City of Swift Cur­rent, to­gether with its Eco­nomic Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and the BRE Com­mit­tee will en­gage the busi­ness com­mu­nity in a process that ad­dresses the find­ings and gen­er­ates con­crete strate­gies for eco­nomic pros­per­ity of Swift Cur­rent and the sur­round­ing area.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing in Mon­day’s Busi­ness Re­ten­tion and Ex­pan­sion (BRE) ini­tia­tive sur­vey launch were (L to R): Garry Koebel, Pres­i­dent of the Down­town Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion; Marty Salberg, Di­rec­tor of Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment for the City of Swift Cur­rent; John Parker, Gen­eral Man­ager of Com­mu­nity Fu­tures South­west; Su­san Motkaluk, City of Swift Cur­rent Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer; Darla Lind­b­jerg, CEO of the Swift Cur­rent and Dis­trict Cham­ber of Com­merce; Lee Friesen, Mar­ket­ing Di­rec­tor at Tourism Swift Cur­rent; and Jackie Moore, Vis­i­tor and Con­ven­tion Ser­vices Co­or­di­na­tor at Tourism Swift Cur­rent.

Al Chilton, part­ner at Phar­masave and a City of Swift Cur­rent Eco­nomic Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee mem­ber clicks the green Go but­ton to par­tic­i­pate in the Busi­ness Re­ten­tion and Ex­pan­sion (BRE) ini­tia­tive sur­vey, un­der the watch­ful eye of Darla Lind­b­jerg, CEO, Swift Cur­rent and Dis­trict Cham­ber of Com­merce; Garry Koebel, Pres­i­dent of the Down­town Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion; and Su­san Motkaluk, City of Swift Cur­rent Chief Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fi­cer.

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