January 2023 Economic Development Update:
Since creating a formal, staffed economic development partnership in 2019, the RMs of Piney and Stuartburn have consistently heard from residents that they know development is needed in the region, but they don’t want the negative impacts that can come with development. That’s why the focus of Sunrise Corner Economic Development has always been on the balance between building sustainable communities and maintaining the wonderful quality of life we all love. We are doing that by working towards attracting the right kind of development.
One of the major projects we started in late 2022 that will continue throughout 2023 is an investment readiness assessment and business attraction strategy. This project will determine our region’s capacity to be “investment ready” and develop a strategy to explore, attract, respond and successfully secure business investment best suited to our location. The project goals are to fully understand our region’s strengths to be able to attract business investment to sustainably develop our region while maintaining our exceptional rural quality of life.
Our initial findings have determined six key sectors that we will focus on attracting investment in opportunities such as:
- Outdoor Recreation and Tourism: experiential tourism, agri-tourism, nature-based accommodations, water-based recreation, hospitality and destination development
- Forestry: pulp and paper production, timber processing, small-scale woodworking
- Manufacturing: peat moss production and application, pre-fabrication and modular construction, furniture product manufacturing
- Agriculture, Food & Beverage: specialty crops, plant-based proteins and microgreen production, craft beverages and distillers
- Technology-based Small Business: digital marketing, photography, videography, environmental technology consulting, online enterprise support, data centre hosting
- Residential Development: seniors housing, duplex/townhouse development, temporary accommodations (hotels, inns, bed and breakfast), seasonal accommodations
To truly understand which opportunities we should be promoting, we will be engaging community members, industry and local experts to help us refine our opportunity profiles. Early in the new year, we’ll be posting an online survey and conducting roundtable discussions with targeted groups for each of our six key sectors. If you’d like to be involved in one or more of our sector focus groups, please let me know. Look forward to working with you to sustainably develop our region to reach its full potential.