Saluting small business in Lacombe

Wayfinding signagae highlighting businesses in downtown Lacombe. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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It’s Small Business Week, and I would like to recognize and pay tribute to Lacombe’s 800-plus small and independent business owners who work tirelessly to make important contributions to our community.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy. They provide an important source of employment and play an essential role in ensuring the community’s sustainability. They are often leading  supporters of local charities and causes

I can assure you that the City of Lacombe is a business-friendly government. Council is working hard to create an infrastructure-ready, people-ready and business-friendly city; to demonstrate clearly that Lacombe is open for business.

Council’s new strategic plan has priorities committed to advancing community economic development, and to seeking out opportunities to stimulate balanced economic growth.

One priority is to expand our commercial tax base, which will allow the community to grow while mitigating the stress on residential ratepayers. To accomplish this, the City has been actively taking steps to attract increased development to the community.

Our plan also calls for business-friendly methods to market Lacombe to a wide range of potential employers.

The City, in partnership with Echo Lacombe Association, now offers a one-stop shop economic development microsite that serves as a practical tool to help address some of the challenges new businesses experience when seeking relevant data to support their plans and visions. The goal is for this new service is to dramatically improve our connection to prospective businesses and assist them in setting up operations in our city.

Additionally, the plan looks to work with the business sector to stimulate the re-development of the historic downtown area.  The City has committed funding support to advance storefront improvements in this area.  This has successfully helped to foster a number of exterior facade improvements in buildings across the downtown redevelopment area.

Recent major infrastructure additions and improvements have also focused resources on the long-term growth and sustainability of the area

We also remain committed to attracting major events to the city. These events help to build awareness of our community and serve to bolster the local tourism and hospitality sectors. With popular events like One Horse Town and Hometown Hockey already in tow, Lacombe will once again garner national attention, when we host the Allan Cup in the spring of 2019.

These, combined with the ongoing arts and cultural events and festivals throughout the year, and our emerging ‘foodie’ scene, serve to bring increasing number visitors to our community.

In order to maintain this forward momentum, the City understands the importance of maintaining a positive and productive relationship with the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce. Together we cultivate our existing businesses, and work to attract a range of exciting new entrepreneurs to our vibrant community.

Let’s all do our part to support our local small businesses.They have a real effect on our community, and it’s the right thing to do