Plans to improve economic development within Terrace is underway

Hillary Johnson

Plans to improve economic development within the City of Terrace during the COVID pandemic is underway. Economic Development Manager Deklan Corstanje made a presentation to council, outlining some of their focus points, such as business retention and expansion, investment attraction, and community development. He explained that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, investment attraction, especially foreign direct investment, will be severely impacted.

"Different countries will recover faster, and there are different efforts you can make to be involved virtually. However, there are a lot of relationship-building elements to investment attraction that just can't happen right now. We will obviously try to look for creative ways around that, that we can afford while still moving forward on investment attraction."

But Corstanje says the main focus is helping the local business succeed during these difficult times.

"Listening to the business, advocating for their needs and responding to their needs where we can, that's important right now, and it's also important going forward. If we can have a system in place where we have a very strong and supportive relationship and free-flowing dialogue with the business community, it creates an environment where investment attraction will become easier and more effective. "

He mentioned some of the efforts made by the appointed community economic response team and their contacts with upper levels of government, keeping them informed of the pandemic's impacts on local business.

"We were able to find out what the biggest concerns and needs were. Whether that was financial support, support around marketing communications, maintaining that connection with the customer base. Now with Work Safe BC being heavily involved in COVID plans and business navigating that. So knowing that gives us the power to advocate through our channels as well."

Corstanje emphasized that information gathering and utilization is vital to help the business community thrive during these unprecedented times.

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