Regional growth reviewed at chamber AGM

Economic development departments will review Invest North Fraser program

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Chamber of Commerce holds its annual meeting this Wednesday at noon in the Arts Centre Theatre in downtown Maple Ridge.

Chamber president Ken Holland will be speaking while Vicki McLeod, from Pitt Meadows economic development and Sandy Blue, from Maple Ridge’s economic development department, will give members an update on the Invest North Fraser project which markets the two municipalities, as well as Mission, on a regional basis.

That will be done via a new website, investnorthfraser.com launched in November.

The web portal allows visitors to click on to any of the three economic development departments to provide quick profiles of the areas for potential investors.

According to a news release from Invest North Fraser, the area is “poised for unprecedented growth.”

The area encompasses almost 600 sq. kilometres with “large tracts of undeveloped industrial land” along with recreational assets.

Over the next 30 years, the region’s population and employment is expected to double.

Money for the project came from Invest Canada Community Initiatives.

“We’re certainly seeing a lot of people who are interested more in the region.” People don’t see the invisible lines that distinguish the three municipalities, Blue added Thursday.

Invest North Fraser also will host investment seminars and market on a regional basis.

“When investors and site selectors are looking for locations to start-up or relocate a business, they’re engaged in a process of elimination,” McLeod, interim CEO, Pitt Meadows Economic Development Corp., said in the release.

This partnership maximizes opportunities to build relationships at a variety of levels, she added. “As a result of our combined natural and built assets, our appeal is much greater when we market  ourselves as a region rather than as a single community.”

Blue said it’s fortunate that all three municipalities want to cooperate and work together.

Lunch is included for the $35 price, plus HST.

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