Volunteers and members of the Sylvan Lake economic development team will be visiting businesses in town as part of the Business Visitation Program.
Council decided during the July 25 council meeting to move about $5,500 from the contracted services line of the town budget to the Business Resilience Strategy budget, to accommodate hiring a consultant for this program.
According to the agenda item report in the town council package, “The economic landscape has changed over the last five years, which has caused a surge of challenges, issues, and at the same time, excitement and new opportunities.”
The purpose of the report was to seek council’s approval for a formal Business Visitation Program, which is the initial step in preparation for an Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan being considered for 2023.
“This is something we’ve always done and we’ve received great feedback,” said Sylvan Lake Mayor Megan Hanson regarding the Business Visitation Program. “I think we get pretty honest feedback, and that’s the goal.”
Hanson explained that the funding will go towards working with a consultant to put this program together.
“Generally, we’re coming up with a plan for how to go about it,” she explained, adding that the program is completed by a volunteer committee, the economic development officers and the consultant.
Hanson said that in the past, the program has visited targeted sectors of business and the process is confidential. The information received during the program is then analyzed and council can develop a plan for moving forward.
“Council gets a bird’s-eye view of the issues we can address,” Hanson explained.