Downturn creates opportunities

The current economic downturn has been described in many ways. Dale Barr uses the word “opportunity.”

The current economic downturn has been described in many ways.

Dale Barr uses the word “opportunity.”

The chairman of the Central Alberta Economic Partnership said lower land prices and favourable interest rates have created an appealing atmosphere for investment and growth in the region.

“For some, it could be an opportune time for expansion,” he suggested.

Barr was speaking the day after CAEP — a consortium of regional communities and other entities like business and educational organizations — held its annual general meeting in Red Deer. That meeting included a discussion of some of the projects that it will pursue in the coming year.

Key among these, said Barr, is a strategy to attract foreign direct investment, both from this continent and farther afield.

“Specifically, we’re going to try to sell some of the advantages of our economic downturn.”

Barr said the goal will be to increase investor awareness of the opportunities here. The initiative will involve attracting specific types of businesses that would be suitable for the region.

In this regard, said Barr, a recent study commissioned by Red Deer Regional Economic Development — another economic partnership involving the City of Red Deer, Red Deer County, the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce and Red Deer College — identified some of the industries that would be well-suited for Central Alberta.

“Our goal would be to work with (Red Deer Regional Economic Development).”

CAEP will also do the next phase of its Welcoming Communities project.

The focus up to this point has been on analyzing the strengths and potential shortcomings of CAEP communities when it comes to attracting people and investment Now, it’s time to take the next step, said Barr.

“We’re going to have expertise come into the community to help them deal with some of those issues, or help them promote specifically what Central Alberta and CAEP communities have to offer to the world.”

This dovetails nicely with CAEPs efforts to attract foreign investment, he said.

CAEP also plans to develop video profiles of its members. These could be used on the CAEP website and on the websites of the individual communities as a means of showcasing what they have to offer.

“We’ll be doing them over the year,” said Barr of the production timeline.

Among CAEP’s successes during the past year was the creation of the Central Alberta Rural Manufacturers Association, which has conducted a number of well-attended meetings this year.

“We’re very pleased with how that all went together,” said Barr.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heather Buelow, owner of Aerial Edge Studio in Blackfalds, says she has spent all of her savings to keep the studio going through government-mandated shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Either open in-person or close permanently: Central Alberta yoga studio defying rules

A central Alberta woman is allowing clients back into her traditional and… Continue reading

(MaxPixel)
Sandra Schmirler Foundation donates $10,000 to Red Deer hospital

Donation will go towards electronic fetal heart monitoring project

A sustainability audit for Westerner Park suggested 33 changes, including more city involvement. (Advocate file photo)
Westerner Park expands volunteer program

As Westerner Park refocuses the organization, they are reigniting their emphasis on… Continue reading

Ukraine’s leader requests a talk with Putin, gets no answer

Ukraine’s leader requests a talk with Putin, gets no answer

Madelyn Boyko poses along with a number of the bath bombs she makes with her mom, Jessica Boyko. Madelyn says she enjoys making the bath bombs with her mom as it is a special time for just the two of them. (Photo Submitted)
5-year-old Sylvan Lake girl selling bath bombs in support of younger brother

Madelyn Boyko is selling bath bombs for CdLS research in honour of her younger brother

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on December 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle
New regulator to stop sexual exploitation of children online: public safety minister

OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the government will introduce… Continue reading

Gordon Greenwood Elementary Grade 7 students were assigned to write about climate change. The Langley Advance Times is pleased to present a selection of their writings. (Sasha/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly in 2019: report

OTTAWA — A new report shows Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased slightly… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says he will vote against a… Continue reading

Eugene Kwon of Gratia Bakery and Cafe says the business will be relying on take out orders and a small patio. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

OTTAWA — A group representing thousands of the country’s small businesses says… Continue reading

Ron Howard is photographed at the "Inferno" film premiere on Oct. 25, 2016 in Los Angeles. (Buckner/Rex Shutterstock/Zuma Press/TNS)
Brothers Ron and Clint Howard have memoir coming in October

NEW YORK — Filmmaker-actor Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard, brothers, former… Continue reading

FILE - In this Saturday, March 27, 2021 file photo, Buffalo Sabres’ Taylor Hall plays against the Boston Bruins during the second period of an NHL hockey game, in Boston. The Buffalo Sabres could trade 2018 MVP Hall, who signed for just this season and is a pending free agent. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
Boston Bruins acquire Taylor Hall to kick off NHL trade deadline day

Trade deadline day in the NHL has started with the Boston Bruins… Continue reading

Most Read