This is Economic Development Week. Communities across North America, including in Saskatchewan, are shining a spotlight on the community initiatives designed to attract or generate investment, create jobs and build capacity.
There probably is no more opportune time for such a focus, given the economic fallout from the COVID pandemic. Hundreds of businesses – such as professional services have been closed for an extended period – while others – like restaurants – are restricted to offering severely reduced operations. That has put a dint in the economy: locally, provincially and nationally. Just last week one major organization suggested Canada has now fallen into recession.
There are a couple main trains of thought or themes in the ec dev world these days. One is called BR&E or Business Retention and Expansion. It is focused on building from within – helping businesses in the community expand. The other line is investment attraction – luring enterprises to establish a branch or totally relocate to your community from somewhere else.
And now it has taken on the added dimension of supporting local: encouraging residents and governments alike to patronize locally-owned businesses as a tool for helping them survive the COVID scourge.