Opinion Column

Lacombe: open for business

Mayor Grant Creasey/City of Lacombe

I want to begin by thanking the residents of the city of Lacombe for placing their faith in me by electing me as their mayor. I look forward to working with a progressive council and moving forward with a strong focus on economic development for Lacombe.

 

We are open for business! This is the message I want to convey to local and national retailers. Our central location between Edmonton and Calgary, the recent updates to our Land Use Bylaw, and the West Area development project, currently underway with Lacombe County along the QEII are open invitations to the wider business community to base their operations in Lacombe.

With a regional trade area exceeding 170,000 people, Lacombe is an ideal location for commercial and industrial development with a ready supply of serviced, suitably zoned land available.

Lacombe is also an important research, equipment supply and service hub for the agricultural industry in Alberta. Our city hosts both the federal and provincial agriculture research facilities, as well as the head office for the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) and is proud to serve area farmers and producers.

Lacombe has first class recreation facilities, incredible trails, parks, and green spaces, beautiful heritage buildings, and a vibrant arts and cultural scene. One of my goals as mayor is to find new ways to market the assets and attributes of our beautiful city to the province and beyond.

Our beautifully restored Edwardian-era historic downtown – with its growing complement of sidewalk patios, exciting new boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops, artisanal bakeries, an award-winning microbrewery and a spirit distillery – is fast becoming a destination for foodies and shoppers from across the region. We are always looking to add to our local retail and hospitality sectors.

Of course, in order for local businesses to remain viable, they need our support. Shopping local has many benefits. We realize immediate cost-savings by avoiding commutes to other communities, and supporting local businesses encourages a strong, sustainable and resilient community, which in turn helps to attract more business to our city.

Providing relief to our residential tax base is another crucial reason to encourage economic growth. With more businesses sharing the tax burden, municipal service levels can maintained or enhanced with less impact on our hard working residents.

As your mayor, I will work with my fellow members of Council toward a more results-driven approach to planning and economic development to benefit everyone involved. I care deeply about our community, how our citizens are treated, and I am committed to changing it for the better.

I believe we need to consider the way we conduct our business as a City organization and pursue business growth strategies with a positive, can-do attitude, and by reducing barriers and building capacity to recruit more business, industry and retail to Lacombe.

We also need to review our economic development plan for effectiveness, make adjustments to reflect current realities, or look at adopting new strategies for success, so that we can continue fostering and nurturing a business-friendly culture through innovation and collaboration.

By making our city more sustainable and resilient, I believe we will help improve the quality of life for all residents and create a safer, more inclusive and vibrant community. 



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