Sylvan Lake listed in top 12 communities for business

Sylvan Lake was recently named by Alberta Venture magazine as one of the ‘Top 12 Great Communities for Business’ in their November edition.

Sylvan Lake was recently named by Alberta Venture magazine as one of the ‘Top 12 Great Communities for Business’ in their November edition.

Vicki Kurz, Sylvan Lake’s economic development officer, said the recognition came after years of hard work by the Town.

“We put a lot of time and effort into creating and raising the economic profile and getting our investment attraction and readiness tools inplace,” said Kurz during an interview with Sylvan Lake News. “That’s what we’ve been focusing on and it seems like it’s paying off.”

Kurz said over the last two years one of the things she and the Town are most proud of has been the Retail Gap Analysis which identified thetypes of businesses the town should be trying to attract.

In addition she said the Economic Impact Assessment conducted in 2014 and approved by Council in 2015 really showed the significance ofthe work they have been doing to attract to new businesses to Sylvan.

“It really tells you where and how we are ranked in the province in terms of and in respect to tourism,” said Kurz. “It was a snap shot in timeconducted over July and August of 2014 and it showed we had over 761,000 visitors in those two months and a total economic impact forthe year of $75 million.”

She stated most businesses do not look at a town’s quality of life before investing there, but in Sylvan Lake they are seeing many scientific,technical, service types of people moving here and those individuals find it ideal to be half way between Edmonton and Calgary while stillhaving their family in a lake-side community.

In addition, she believes the lake itself plays a large role in their being listed among the top 12 communities, citing an example of twobusinesses visiting her this week who hope to start more attractions down at the lake.

She noted the 10% growth in population over the last few years has posed a challenge to Sylvan Lake, as they are having to catch up on theirinfrastructure, but it does tell them that they are an interesting community to those looking to relocate.

“We have a very young population and people must like what we are doing here because they are choosing to move here so I think that10% growth rate in population is reflective of the town and what people like about the town,” she said.

Recently, the highlight of Kurz economic development has been in the downtown area. Over the past number of years the Town has investedover $22 million into the downtown zone, and currently Kurz is working with downtown business owners and property owners to revitalizethe waterfront commercial district.

“In reality the downtown area did not used to be a very welcoming business community a few years ago,” said Kurz. “This is changing in thateveryone has agreed it is time to do what we can to revitalize the downtown.”

In this regard, the town is also offering a $7,500 facade improvement grant to downtown businesses wishing to give the outside of theirstore front a face lift.

“Council and administration have been very supportive,” said Kurz. “We couldn’t have done this alone and without their support to do thething we needed to do to make ourselves investment attraction ready and that was critical and it really seems like we’re moving in the rightdirection.”

“It really is about putting your community on the map we are trying to promote the town in the best light we can.”

Other communities who made the list include Airdrie, Camrose, Devon, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Leduc Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Newell,Red Deer and Rocky View County.

Editor@sylvanlakenews.com

 

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP investigate Fairview home invasion

RCMP believe it was a targeted home invasion, targeting wrong residence

Solar program denied in Sylvan Lake

Town Council defeated a motion to joining the Alberta Municipal Solar Program

Tyler Steenbergen looking to centre a line for Team Canada

Sylvan Lake’s Steenbergen invited to try out for Canada’s National Junior Team

Country star Brett Kissel releases new album

Kissel excited to make a stop in Red Deer

White Christmas expected for Central Alberta

The Weather Network is predicting a white Christmas for much of Western Canada

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

5-year anniversary of Sandy Hook shooting

When just saying ‘I’m from Newtown’ can be a cross to bear

Disney buying part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4B deal

Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion

Bountiful polygamist believed he couldn’t be prosecuted: lawyer

Winston Blackmore’s lawyer says Blackmore did not believe he could be prosecuted

Woman charged after altercation injured baby in Toronto

Charges have been laid after a four-month-old baby girl was critically injured in Toronto

Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil announces retirement

Veteran Ottawa Senators forward Chris Neil spent 15 seasons with the NHL team

Trudeau’s office confirms staffer being probed over allegations

PMO confirms staffer being probed over allegations of reported “inappropriate behaviour.”

Police kill gunman north of Toronto

Police shot and killed a gunman during a hostage situation at a bank north of Toronto

Most Read