PRESS RELEASE: February 2021
Collaboration is key to economic growth in the Kootenays
Kootenay/Boundary Region, BC:
Imagine Kootenay is shifting gears and plans to be a leader in economic development in the Kootenay/Boundary region. By working with local community economic development initiatives to attract investment and workforce, Imagine Kootenay aims to deliver tangible results on local priorities.
Imagine Kootenay is a group of local government, chambers of commerce and economic developers coming together to share and deliver key learnings relating specifically to investment and workforce attraction. This unique group of leaders is able to share their community initiatives with their peers and work for a unified approach to economic development.
A unified, well developed approach to investment and workforce attraction has a much higher impact and is more effective than individual communities trying to create their own paths. The Imagine Kootenay Partnership is true regional collaboration unlike any other project that currently exists and has resulted in $19.4M in direct investment into the partner communities since 2009.
ImagineKootenay.com is a website that promotes communities in the region and allows for business owners to list their business for sale at no cost. There are currently almost 300 available business listings on the website and 2,500 investors. Last year alone the website had over 96,000 unique website visits.
Imagine Kootenay is managed by Factor 5 Group, an economic development social enterprise that specializes in co-creating sustainable communities. Factor 5 plans to make business listings and customized community campaigns a high priority, while working with community and regional partners to address critical challenges including housing development.
Incoming Steering Committee Chair and Mayor of Radium, Clara Reinhardt, is excited for her new role, as she has been involved with Imagine Kootenay for many years.
“Our community leaders have experience and a combined skill set that is the heart and soul of Imagine Kootenay,” says Reinhardt. “We are re-inventing an organization that will put the Kootenays on the map as a leader in economic development.”
The outgoing chair and RDEK Director Susan Clovechok, who played a key role in setting Imagine Kootenay on a new trajectory, echoes Mayor Reinhardt’s sentiments. “Imagine Kootenay provides a level and quality of information for economic development that is typically only available in larger urban centres,” says Clovechok. “It has also enabled the professional connections between organizations, people and communities throughout the Basin; connections that result in the sharing of knowledge and skills for the benefit of the whole.”
Imagine Kootenay is funded by the Province of British Columbia and 9 participating partner communities: Boundary, Castlegar, Columbia Valley, Creston Valley/Kootenay Lake, Golden, Nakusp, Nelson, Revelstoke and Trail/Rossland.
If you would like to list your business for sale, view the business opportunities in the Kootenay/Boundary region, or learn more about Imagine Kootenay, visit www.imaginekootenay.com.
Program Coordinator, Imagine Kootenay