A new vision for economic development in Sackville has been given final approval by town council.
Sackville’s new business development strategy was adopted during council’s monthly meeting May 14, a plan that features a series of recommendations based on the community’s greatest strengths, challenges and opportunities.
“We’re really excited to have this piece of work wrapped up,” said Jamie Burke, Sackville’s senior manager of corporate projects. “It’s a really important document for our organization and our entire community.”
Burke said one of the first steps to be taken now that the plan has been approved will be the establishment of a mayor’s roundtable committee on economic development. The committee, one of the key recommendations proposed in the plan, will involve multi-stakeholder participation and get everyone moving in the same direction.
The committee will develop an annual workplan and will help coordinate and collaborate on economic service delivery – such as start-up support, grant intake, business retention and expansion program, incubator program and investment attraction efforts. It would also assist with tracking efforts and monitoring the business climate.
The new business plan was developed over the last seven months by Lions Gate Consulting in association with 4/L Strategies
Burke said another item the town will be looking to move forward on in 2019 will be putting out a request for proposals for the creation of a retail and highway commercial area prospectus.
“It would look at how we would like to market our existing retail and highway commercial areas within the community.”
The town will also seek to develop more partnerships, said Burke, such as, for example, determining if there’s potential for connecting with the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce, which has shown interest in starting a Sackville chapter.
“We’re hoping that’s one of the quick wins right off the gate is to have the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce come to Sackville . . .just to look to see if there is interest amongst our own business community to potentially establish a Sackville chapter of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce. That could be an enormous opportunity for some of our local businesses.”
Marketing the town’s business and investment properties, as well as signage improvements, are also among the top priorities the town hopes to focus on in 2019, said Burke.