On March 1 at the VOICE on the Coast annual general meeting, Shelley McDade, CEO for the Sunshine Coast Credit Union, presented her annual "economic perspective for the Sunshine Coast" concluding that "many communities our size are struggling in this economy and looking for opportunities to turn their metrics around."
She also said construction and real estate results are negative or low for many smaller B.C. communities like ours. This is not a new realization, but simply confirms what many businesses have experienced during the past five years: a steady decline in economic prosperity across many sectors.
"At a time when capital and opportunities are scarce," Ms. Dade asked, "how do we ensure the Sunshine Coast is the premier choice for responsible growth that will fuel a good economy and an excellent quality of life for all residents?"
The silent majority of Coast businesses and residents continue to wholeheartedly support the George Hotel and Residences project as a catalyst for sustainable economic change that many feel is desperately needed, and the sooner it happens the better.
It is not to say the George Hotel project will be the panacea for all of Gibsons' and the region's economic ills, but it will set the stage for many new jobs and spin-off business opportunities.
Current projections indicate more than 250 man-years of direct and spin-off construction employment will be created, generating $27 million in wages. When completed, The George will employ over 130 Coast residents in a clean, renewable tourism enterprise that treads gently on the environment and meets the Smart Growth criteria for economic, environmental and social sustainable development.
It will also send a clear message to investors interested in Coast economic opportunities that the Coast welcomes new business investment.
Jennifer Evans, executive director of Coast Community Builders' Association
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