Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission working to improve local economy

Slocan Valley Economic What … ? … well might you ask. Who are we? What do we do? Why? Are we making a difference? Well, we are 10 of your neighbours, a mix of elected officials from each of Silverton, New Denver, and Slocan, and Area H, plus six community representatives from the Villages and the rural communities that surround them. We sit on a duly constituted (through the Regional District) body called a Commission; we discuss, debate, consult, brainstorm and make decisions on actions that we believe can benefit the Slocan Valley economy in some way. Yes, the Commission is supported through taxation – and we develop, submit for approval, and adhere to an annual budget that outlines the types of activities we expect to engage in during the coming year. Those activities include:

• Maintaining the www. slocanvalley.com website, which showcases the valley, communities, businesses and organizations, recreation and cultural opportunities and events, as well as being a place where the EDC itself can post information we have to share;

• Partnering with the Slocan District Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute on two Business Retention & Expansion surveys – one, for bricks & mortar businesses going on four years ago, and one this year focusing on home-based businesses. Each of those surveys has provided us with good information about the economic life – strengths and weaknesses – of our valley and all its communities. This information helps us develop programming aimed at supporting economic growth in general, and business people’s skills in negotiating the ups and downs of the 21st Century economy;

• Sponsoring a series of ‘Lunch & Learns’ on various business topics, engaging other businessrelated service providers to come and talk to small groups of local businesspeople over lunch;

• Sponsoring a half-day Succession Planning workshop (with lunch!) as an opportunity to learn the options, and to network with other business folks in similar stages of their business development; and …

• Presenting this coming weekend two half-day workshops on Succession Planning and on Social Enterprise as an organizational option.

We will also continue to work with the Villages and the Regional District on developing a comprehensive regional economic development plan, and are awaiting the determination of our joint application for funding for this through the Rural Dividend Program. We are always looking for opportunities to partner with groups and organizations on initiatives that will improve the economic development infrastructure of our region, by creating new partnerships and collaborations. Slocan Valley EDC meets several times a year – our next meeting will be Wednesday, November 8 at 6 pm in Slocan at the Village Office. The public is always welcome to attend. If you have any questions, or want to provide feedback, please feel free to contact us at slocanvalleyedc@gmail.com