Cranbrook city hall.

Cranbrook maps out investment attraction strategy for economic development

Cranbrook is eyeing a number of industrial sectors identified in an investment attraction strategy to bolster economic development over the next five years.

The strategy noted the city’s land-rich, regional focal point for the East Kootenay economy, identifying a number of existing and emerging sectors that are ripe for investment opportunities.

Those industries and sectors include renewable energy, defence, high tech, cyber security, aerospace, transportation and logistics, drones and unmanned vehicles (UAVs), Information Communications Technologies (ICT) including satellite and aerospace communication technologies, space exploration technologies, and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).

Brad Robson and Lee Malleau, with WāVv Business Development Inc, delivered a presentation to mayor and council on Monday night, outlining the work being done in conjunction with the city’s economic development office to attract new industries to the region.

The strategy identified an action plan of concurrent progress on four pillars including business growth, investment and trade; investment readiness; regional development and marketing and communications.

“We make very explicit recommendation on how to go about doing that, supporting existing businesses, adding rigor and credibility around economic development and that leads to an improved investment environment along with key things like taking a look at your investment environment and making sure the city is investment-ready,” Malleau said.

Business retention, business expansion and investment attraction are key elements necessary to producing a successful deal flow, which was another important component of the investment attraction strategy.

The strategy also looked beyond Cranbrook by including nearby communities such as Kimberley and Canal Flats in order to maximize opportunities for the region as a near-shore destination for development.

Robson said he has been connecting with clients and potential investors through his network, noting the city’s rising profile as an opportune destination for growth and expansion.

Mayor Lee Pratt added WāVv Business Development Inc was brought in to help expand the city’s economic development network, as conversations that may ‘come to fruition’ are already underway.

“The idea was, we had to expand that network, and Brad is part of a very large network and some very influential people worldwide,” Pratt said. “We’ve had comments and conversations with some of these people that we never, ever would have had. So there are some things that have already happened along those lines that we haven’t really discussed yet.

“But like Brad said, he’s bringing the attention of these people to Cranbrook and they’re people with deep pockets. It’s good news, it just takes time to come to fruition.”

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