The Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization (SCREDO) has unveiled a new website as the search continues for an executive director of economic development and the agency gears up to launch its first projects.
SCREDO board chair David Chisholm said the website, investsunshinecoast.ca, is the first phase of an effort to collect relevant information for investors in one place. Phase two will involve a full marketing campaign.
“The Sunshine Coast can be difficult for entrepreneurs to navigate with all our different governmental jurisdictions. This website helps break down those barriers and offers a regional perspective to investing on the Coast,” Chisholm said.
He also notes that the website builds on one already set up through Best Coast Initiatives, a previous economic development group. “While the content is all updated, we are using the theme and branding from a previous Coast-wide economic development initiative. We take our financial responsibilities seriously. By reusing material from the groups that came before us, we can honour their work and save public funds at the same time.”
Although the SCREDO board has been in place since March 2016, it only started receiving funding through a service agreement with local governments this year. Under the agreement, SCREDO will get $300,000 per year from Sechelt, Gibsons, the Sunshine Coast Regional District and the Sechelt Indian Government District.
The 2017-18 budget puts 60 per cent of that into programs such as business retention, expansion and attraction, workforce development, regional information like the new website, as well as a reserve.
Three new directors – Zora Attiana, Sam Bowman and Dwayne Dobson – have joined the board this year. Chisholm, Celia Robben, Maria Hampvent, Cheryl McNicol and Tanya Smith remain as original appointees. The Sechelt Indian Government District has yet to name a representative.
Chisholm said the job posting for a full-time executive director of economic development closes Sept. 30.
“We and our partners have project announcements lined up over the next few weeks,” Chisholm told Coast Reporter. “We are very excited about how these projects will help us meet our goals.”