Fernie from the top of the Swine Flu trail in early 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Elk Valley gets new Economic Recovery Advisor

The new role is funded through grants, and is designed to support the local economy

The Elk Valley now has an Economic Recovery Advisor, with the Fernie Chamber successfully hiring for the full-time, 12 month role this month.

Made possible through a grant from the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior BC (ETSI-BC), the role is one of many funded by the organisation that seeks to support the economic recovery and development of regional British Columbia in the aftermath of the pandemic.

The advisor position is focused on establishing a strong economic development foundation for the entire Elk Valley by engaging with businesses and compiling economic data, including the creation of a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) survey of businesses in the valley, and the completion of a new investment profile for the valley and the three communities within.

“The reports and data generated by this work will help agencies in the valley (like Chambers of Commerce and local governments) better understand our local economy as we come out of the pandemic, and what is needed to help create more diverse and resilient communities,” reads the Fernie Chamber release.

Executive Director of the Chamber, Brad Parsell said that the funding of the new role was unique opportunity for the Elk Valley to get ahead.

We look forward to engaging as many businesses up and down the Elk Valley as possible to really understand their opportunities and challenges. This work will be a great foundation to build on for future economic development efforts including investment and workforce attraction.”

While the role is based out of the Fernie Chamber, all communities and chambers up and down the Elk Valley submitted letters of support for the position.

The new hiree, Taylor Jenkins said that he was excited to get a handle on the needs and challenges facing businesses int he area.

“I look forward to contributing to this important research project and developing recommendations that will make a positive impact on the health of our local economy.”

Initial outreach will begin over the next few weeks with a ramp-up in activity over the fall with the BRE survey. Reports and investment profiles are schedules to be completed in 2022.

READ MORE: Fernie Chamber cuts the ribbon on 2nd Edition

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