The City of White Rock is hosting online workshops for residents and local businesses to weigh in on its draft post-pandemic Economic Development Strategic Plan.
The workshops are set for Sept. 8 and 9. Attendees will be invited to review the draft, which comes with “an updated vision, objectives and strategies based on current conditions and long-term trends affecting White Rock’s economic strength,” according to a news release issued Wednesday (Aug. 25).
“The updated Economic Development Strategic Plan will guide how jobs and businesses in White Rock change and grow in a post-pandemic future,” the release adds.
The Sept. 8 workshops, set for 3-4 p.m. and 6-7 p.m., are for residents; 10-11 a.m. on Sept. 9 is set for businesses to provide input.
The city conducted a pair of anonymous surveys earlier this year regarding the plan, urging residents and business employees and owners to share their vision for White Rock’s future economy.
Survey highlights shared in Wednesday’s release include that the majority of residents who participated (55 per cent) named attracting more businesses to White Rock and protecting against the negative impacts of growth as top goals for economic development. Sixty-five per cent identified the pier and waterfront, local independent business and arts and culture as the city’s most important assets. As well, concerns were expressed about parking, density, property taxes, vacancies on Marine Drive and condition of storefronts.
Fifty per cent of businesses that participated identified parking and increased costs as among the top challenges of doing business in White Rock, the release continues, while 65 per cent said the most important thing that the city can do to support the growth and expansion of business is to make it easy for businesses to navigate government services, regulations and programs.
A draft update to the Economic Development Strategic Plan is expected to be complete this fall.
Those interested in the upcoming workshops are asked to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of Friday, Sept. 3, and a link will be provided.
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