June 2023 Economic Development Update:
In April 2023, Sunrise Corner Economic Development hosted an in-person focus group workshop at Piney Community Hall. We invited a targeted list of residents representing business, industries and community groups to share their ideas as it relates to growth and economic development in the region. This workshop complemented a survey published in February to reveal and confirm potential business investment opportunities for five key economic sectors. Preliminary survey responses were compiled in advance of the focus group to help inform and guide discussion among participants. Since there was overlap between all sectors, we created three working groups and assigned attendees based on their relationship or role within a specific economic sector.
Food & Beverage / Small, Home-based Businesses
An overlying theme was that existing businesses are hampered by what was generalized as a lack of knowledge on how to expand and better their product or service to appeal to outside markets, unreliable telecommunication services, and need for digital business support.
Outdoor Recreation & Tourism
Participants pointed out locations, business opportunities (especially accommodations), and recreation activities they saw potential in developing to further highlight the region’s high-quality natural environment and prevalent heritage which would lend to creating a unique sense of place.
Agriculture & Resource Development / Residential Development
Housing was an issue brought up by all three groups, but was detailed by this group as key to their ability to hire new employees and ultimately grow their businesses. Improving local municipal assets and telecommunication infrastructure will help draw and retain residents, businesses and developers.
In summary, participants showed favourable support and interest in developing the following aspects:
- A Chamber of Commerce and other municipal supports/services to aid small, local business owners in the development and marketing of their business.
- The development of the local tourism sector through direct investment and development of the surrounding environment, existing community assets and accommodations.
- A range of affordable housing options and local services that will attract people to live and work in the area.
More detail will be provided on each of these five sectors as we continue working through Sunrise Corner’s business attraction strategy. In the meantime, if you have a business idea or challenge you’d like to discuss, please reach out to learn about the business-building supports and training that are currently available.