By Keith McNeill
Economic development by District of Clearwater is like an iceberg – much of it is below the surface.
That was what members of Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce were told during an information session on economic development held Nov. 21 at Wells Gray Inn.
The municipality often receives inquiries from individuals and companies looking at starting a business in the area, said Leslie Groulx.
The District’s chief administrative officer also is its economic development officer.
Usually these inquiries don’t result in any new local businesses.
The individuals and companies making the inquiries are also looking at several other possible locations and often choose to go elsewhere. Sometimes the proposed business never goes ahead at all.
Until there is something definite to announce, the District needs to keep whatever inquiries it receives confidential.
The District has a package of information that can be adjusted to meet the needs of each inquiry.
A priority for the District is to support the existing businesses, she said.
One example is the Shop Local campaign underway now.
Area residents are being invited to have their cards stamped at participating businesses for each purchase worth $20 or more.
Those who fill their cards in with enough stamps will be eligible to win $750, $500 or $250 in Clearwater Bucks.
Draw date will be Dec. 20.
The initial printing of 1,500 cards sold out in two days so she had to order more, Groulx said.
Another project they are working on is a business directory, to be done in collaboration with Thompson-Nicola Regional District Area A (Wells Gray Country).
District of Clearwater offers a wide variety of services and many of them, such as subdivision approval and water main construction, are relevant to economic development, Groulx pointed out.