Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business

Being business friendly pays off for Chilliwack

Two grants for Chilliwack came through recently from senior levels of government totalling $30,000.

Chilliwack’s business friendly ways earned it praise and recognition from seniors levels of government.

Two grants came through recently totalling $30,000.

The first is Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation receiving $20,000 from the federal government to attract and retain foreign direct investment.

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl announced the ICCI funding last week, on behalf of International Trade Minister Ed Fast, and said the main priority was job creation.

“That is why we are helping our local community reach out to international investors to attract new foreign investment and the opportunities they bring to the local workforce,” said Strahl.

The Invest Canada – Community Initiatives (ICCI) funding is geared to helping communities attract, retain and expand foreign direct investment.

CEPCO president John Jansen said the grant is gratifying.

“It is great that we are being recognized for being leaders in this regard,” he said.

CEPCO will invest the funds in creating promotional strategies to further attract businesses to Chilliwack, on everything from eye-catching banners to data-laden fact sheets to be handed out at trade shows.

“Our focus going forward is going to be on continuing to aggressively promote our community,” Jansen said.

ICCI funds up to 50 per cent of community-based projects aimed at developing and implementing investment-attraction strategies.

The other grant was $10,000 for City of Chilliwack, from B.C.’s Small Business Roundtable to help implement ways to bolster small business. It was presented at the UBCM convention last week.

“It has been one of our primary goals to attract and maintain business growth in Chilliwack and this $10,000 award will help bring us closer to that goal,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz.

“It is wonderful to be recognized for our efforts, and that of our many partners, in making Chilliwack a place where small businesses can grow, develop and flourish.”

Working closely with Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation (CEPCO) is an approach city officials have taken over the years to encourage investment and growth in Chilliwack.

Provincial officials praised the Welcoming Communities Program, led by Chilliwack Community Services in partnership with the City of Chilliwack, and said the project stood out in the city’s submission.

Chilliwack was one of seven B.C. communities honoured with the Open for Business Awards, alongside Penticton, Kelowna, Central Saanich, Coquitlam, Fort St. James, and the City of Langley.

“I think it demonstrates we truly are a community that’s open for business,” Jansen added.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

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