Town & Country

June 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 7

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, SATURDAY JUNE 17, 2017 8 B E A U S E J O U R & R M O F B R O K E N H E A D MIDWINTER SCHOOL HERTIGE MUSEUM E A S T B R A I N T R E E , M B 100th BIRTHDAY / CANADA 150 July 8 • 11 am - 9 pm For more info call 204-426-5510 Lunch $ 5 Dinner $ 10 Please bring a salad for dinner. Silent Auction prizes appreciated. Open Saturdays, June to Sept. 2 - 4 pm The RM of Alexander Phone 204-367-6170 Nature Lover's Dream Bountiful Waterways & Recreational Paradise Nature Lover's Dream Bountiful Waterways & Recreational Paradise READY TO OPEN OR PURCHASE A BUSINESS? Do not miss your Business Opportunities in Beausejour & Brokenhead! More Information please contact: Anna W. Mondor - Marketing Director Beausejour Brokenhead Development Corporation 639 Park Avenue Box 1741 R0E 0C0 Beausejour, MB Phone: (204) 268-7556 e-mail: Recently Opened: and more… • Park Avenue Crossing – Franchise Opportunities • Retail • Manufacturing • Commercial Space available • Full serviced Industrial Lots available BY GEOFF KIRBYSON B eausejour and the RM of Broken- head are open for business. Attracting enterprises from a variety of sectors, however, is not as sim- ple as posting a few signs around town or even announcing your intentions on Fa- cebook or Twitter. Before you can convince anybody to hang a shingle in your community, you need to do your homework and ensure that you have the capacity to welcome them. That means making sure indus- trial lots are properly serviced for sewer and water, taxes are competitive and there are enough homes to house an influx of new workers. Would-be investors also need to know the expenses they'll face to both set up and operate a business on industrial land or in a retail space, including transpor- tation costs and utilities, as well as the demographics and economic profile of the area so they can get a good idea of what labour force challenges may await. Anna Mondor, marketing director for the Beausejour Brokenhead Develop- ment Corp., a non-profit organization funded equally by the RM and the town, says there is pressure on organizations such as hers to not only attract and grow business investment in the area but also retain it. (The RM is located less than an hour northeast of Winnipeg and does not include the Brokenhead First Nation, which is about an hour directly north of the Perimeter Highway.) But before she asked anybody to start signing cheques and scoping out real es- tate, Mondor crafted an investment strat- egy and mapped out a plan for the future. Her team developed marketing tools such as a community profile, a community business video and a website to attract and screen potential investors. "It takes three to five years to prepare the community to be investment-ready. We had to make sure we built capacity first," she says. Mondor is quick to point out that her area has a fast-growing population — there are currently 3,219 people in Beausejour and another 5,122 in the RM, for a total of 8,341, up 13 per cent in the past year. It has higher than aver- age household income and lower taxes than Winnipeg. Housing prices are also attractive. The average price of a three- bedroom bungalow in Beausejour is $270,000 and it's only slightly higher in the RM, at $288,857. The same house in Winnipeg costs more than $300,000. The region has serviced industrial lots for sale for about $30,000 per acre and plans are in the works to build another industrial park. Mondor believes she has given her area a competitive advantage by hosting a seminar on direct investment training for economic development practitioners, which provides a roadmap for attracting investors and executing on their plans. "Our goal is to go to the businesses (in the region) and ask, 'Who are your sup- pliers?' Maybe we can bring some of them here, too," she says. Mondor is looking to convince busi- nesses to relocate to her region and attract entrepreneurs to either take over existing enterprises or start up their own. Currently on her radar are agricultural equipment manufacturers, tourism, construction, re- tail, agri-business and processing firms. The last step of her plan is a lead gen- eration strategy to help identify, qualify and connect with targeted companies that make economic sense for the region. All of her planning caught the atten- tion of Sharalyn Reitlo, executive director of Community Futures Winnipeg River, who says BBDC deserves to be put on a pedestal for its work in priming the re- gion's economic pump. Her group select- ed the BBDC as the recipient of its 2016- 17 Community Initiative Award, which is given annually to a community organ- ization in recognition of its outstanding efforts in community development and showing initiative and commitment to the area. "They are so proactive with the things they're doing in terms of exposing their local economy and making sure the Beausejour and Brokenhead area is open for business," Reitlo says. "They're the ex- ample we want other rural communities to follow. They're doing a lot for busi- ness attraction and a lot for innovative marketing and strategies. They're show- ing what you can do when people band together to work for local economic de- velopment. We want to showcase that it can be done." BBDC was able to make some con- tacts at last year's Centrallia conference, an event hosted by World Trade Centre Winnipeg that's designed to promote business on local, national and inter- national fronts. Mondor has identified potential investors from the U.K., the Czech Republic and France. Next year she intends to send out trade missions, both physical and virtual, and hopes to announce a first round of invest- ors before 2018 is done. The Beausejour Brokenhead Development Corp. has mapped out a plan to encourage economic development. Photos courtesy of Beausejour Brokenhead Development Corp. Planning for the Future Beausejour and RM of Brokenhead lay groundwork for growth Mondor is looking to convince businesses to relocate to her region and attract entrepreneurs to either take over existing enterprises or start up their own. Currently on her radar are agricultural equipment manufacturers, tourism, construction, retail, agri- business and processing firms.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Town & Country - June 2017