Let’s Do Business
The City of Wetaskiwin is Working Hard for Your Business
The Community Development Department with the City of Wetaskiwin has had a busy year working to promote the City of Wetaskiwin through Economic Development, Tourism, and Events. Take a look at the summary below which highlights some of the achievements the department had this year:
The Community Development continued to represent the city at the International Council of Shopping Centers. This year had exciting results as Wetaskiwin was being sought out by potential businesses who expressed interest in the city.
Growing Rural Tourism (GRT) Annual Conference took place in Camrose, and representatives from the Community Development Department attended. We facilitated a round table discussion for rural tourism operators to receive consultations from Economic Development Officers from across Alberta to help their businesses become more successful.
Jennifer Fossen, Manager of Community Development. became the Vice-President on the Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) Board of Directors at the annual conference which took place in March 2018.
Jennifer Fossen was also awarded the Outstanding Young Professional Award at the EDA annual conference.
The first Small Business Matching Grants from the City of Wetaskiwin opened with great success. The Storefront Improvement Grants and Equipment & Technology Grants saw great success in applications, and all money was awarded for each grant. There were two Storefront Improvement Grants, and five Equipment & Technology Grants.
The rest of the Small Business Matching Grants opened in May. Professional Development and the Marketing Grant opened to great interest from local businesses.
The first monthly meeting of the Business Breakfast Club took place at the beginning of May. This is a monthly meeting which takes place over an hour with a presentation on various topics focused for our local businesses, followed by networking to strengthen the business ties in this great community.
June, July, & August
The Community Development Department planned and executed so many great events the summer of 2018! We started things off in June with the annual Outdoor Movie, which was Only the Brave. A few short weeks later we celebrated Canada Day! Canada Day is one of the biggest events the Community Development Department takes on, so there is a lot of logistical work that goes into planning and executing it. Planning meetings started in November 2017 to make sure the event was one that each member of the community could partake in. Also in July we assisted the Edmonton International Raceway in Wetaskiwin with their NASCAR BBQ to kick off the weekend of NASCAR races which take place at the raceway. In August we combined the Protective Service's Positive Ticket BBQ and added on a second Outdoor Movie which was Toy Story. The following week we also planned the annual City Open House which took place at the Drill Hall and we had one of the largest turnouts from the past couple years. It was a busy summer for Community Development!
The Community Development Department won a National Marketing Award at the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) annual conference for our Imagination Tourism Ad. To see the ad, follow the link to our Visit Wetaskiwin section here.
Wetaskiwin was represented at the International Economic Development Council annual meeting, and took part in meetings with Lisa Stockley, the Consul and Trade Commissioner of the Foreign Investment Attraction to Canada. These meetings were to discuss companies who are interested in expanding into Canada and the partnership connections among the South Eastern States and Wetaskiwin.
After a summer hiatus, the Business Breakfast Club began its monthly meetings once again.
As part of Alberta Culture Days, the Wetaskiwin and District Heritage Museum and the Community Development Department worked together to showcase Wetaskiwin, and as such the Community Development Department created a new event, called Taste of Wetaskiwin. This event was an enormous success, with 2,000 tickets being pre-sold, and another 1,000 available the night of the event. The event officially sold out at the door in under 20 minutes, and each food and liquor vendor have asked to be part of the event in 2019.
The annual EDA Ministry Dinner took place in Edmonton, and the Community Development Department engaged with numerous ministers to ensure Wetaskiwin is well represented. Those government officials who attended included Deron Bilous, the Economic Development and Trade Minister for the Government of Alberta, Minister Christina Grey, the Labour Minister for the Government of Alberta, and Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs. Other representatives included those from Western Economic Diversification, Alberta Labour, Agriculture and Agrifood, and Energy.
The Community Development Department were busy at work creating content for the new investment website and continue to do so! The website is a living document, and as such will be continually updated to ensure the users are receiving up to date and relevant data.
A service the Community Development Department offers the local business community are business consultations. We had a few meetings this month with various businesses and worked to address various issues that were mentioned.
Even though the department was heading into the holidays, we didn't let that slow us down! In December we hosted Inspector Durance with the Wetaskiwin RCMP as he gave a talk on "Protecting Your Business". This Business Breakfast Club meeting was a resounding success with a great dialogue being opened and terrific discussions. The business owners who attended left with valuable information.
We hosted our first Entrepreneur Extension Opportunity where we brought in an expert to help our business owners to use Facebook for their business. Over the past few months we had noticed a need in the business community for more training opportunities for specific topics, and this was proven with the popularity of the Facebook training. We wound up hosting two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with both sessions having full attendance. All the participants mentioned how helpful the session was and they hope to attend more in the future.
This brought 2018 to an end, but the Community Development is continuing to work hard at furthering the interests of Wetaskiwin on local, national, and international stages. We will continue our hard work in 2019 to anticipated great success!