Star of the show

YouTube may be a source of entertainment for many, but Red Deer Regional Economic Development hopes to harness the popularity of the video-sharing website to bring investment and people to Central Alberta.

An aerial view of Red Deer that appears in the video posted on YouTube.

YouTube may be a source of entertainment for many, but Red Deer Regional Economic Development hopes to harness the popularity of the video-sharing website to bring investment and people to Central Alberta.

RDRED, which is a strategic alliance involving the City of Red Deer, Red Deer County, Red Deer College and the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, has posted a promotional video on YouTube highlighting the area’s advantages for businesses and residents.

Titled Red Deer Corridor — Broaden Your Horizons, the 51/2-minute piece includes images of local businesses and recreational and cultural attractions.

It also contains commentary from business and community leaders describing the appeal of the region.

Michelle Zeggil, an economic development specialist with the city, said the objective of the video is to raise the profile of the region.

“When you think of Alberta, I think you think of Edmonton and Calgary first, and we want people to be able to think of Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer.”

The video, which was shot last fall and produced by Dynacor Media Group of Edmonton, describes the Red Deer corridor as being “at the heart of the strongest economy in Canada” and the “petroleum powerhouse of Alberta.” It also points out that 2.4 million people live within a two-hour drive of Red Deer.

The region’s energy, manufacturing, agricultural, value-added, construction, tourism, and information and technology industries are praised, as are its health services, schools, and recreation and cultural opportunities.

Favourable operating costs, the lowest combined tax and utility rates in Canada, and access to key markets are cited as reasons for businesses to locate here. Don Drummond, senior vice-president and chief economist with TD Bank Financial Group, reinforces this point in the video.

“Red Deer, if you want to create a new business or bring a business that exists elsewhere into the area, of course you don’t have a sales tax, you’ve got the lowest corporate income tax, you don’t have a capital tax,” said Drummond. “That’s got a lot going for it.”

Zeggil said investment attraction is just one of RDRED’s strategic objectives, with the organization recently focusing on labour attraction.

“Now that we are in more of a balanced labour market we can kind of switch back to more emphasis on investment attraction.”

The video, which was unveiled at a Red Deer Chamber of Commerce luncheon in March, became available for public viewing this week. It’s already generating positive feedback, said Zeggil.

“People are very excited when they see it.”

In addition to being on YouTube, Red Deer Corridor — Broaden Your Horizons can be viewed on the RDRED website at Zeggil said it’s also being sent to provincial and federal offices involved in international relations, and will be made available to local businesses and organizations that want to promote themselves and the region.

For more information, call Zeggil at 403-342-8106.

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