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RFD- 3030 Business Items   Item #   11. a.    
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 06/26/2017  
Title:    Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan: Update 2017-2022 - Walker
Department: Economic & Business Development  
Strategic Vision Element: Where People Choose to Grow a Business - A strong, diversified regional business centre Related Goal: Spruce Grove has a robust, growing economic base that generates balanced revenues to support the City’s high standards for services and programs.

Request for Decision Summary
With major changes in the economic environment, Spruce Grove's Economic Development Strategy (Partnerships for Prosperity) which was approved by Council in 2010 needed to be reviewed and updated.  This was an initiative approved in the 2016/17 Corporate Plan and was led by the Economic Development Advisory Committee.  This initiative has been subsequently completed and is now being brought forward for Council approval as the Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan Update 2017-2022 

Proposed Motion
That the Updated 2017-2022 Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan for Spruce Grove be approved as presented.

Spruce Grove's current Economic Development Strategy, "Partnerships for Prosperity 2010-2020", was approved by City Council in 2010.  This was developed after extensive public consultation and led to the establishment of the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC).  An Implementation Action Plan was subsequently developed under the leadership of EDAC and this was followed by an Implementation Plan Progress Report in 2015.  The Progress Report indicated that substantial progress had been achieved in implementing the Strategy and Action Plan.  However, it was also clear that the general economic circumstances had changed substantially over this period and it was time to look at updating and renewing the Strategy.  

Under the guidance of EDAC, the process for updating the Economic Development Strategy started in 2016 with a Request for Proposals to select a consultant to undertake the project.  MDB Insight, led by Lauren Millier, submitted the successful proposal.  As required in the terms of reference, MDB managed a robust public engagement and consultation program which included a dedicated project website, community and business surveys, business and other stakeholder interviews, and social media ambassadors.  There were over 200 community survey respondents and 150 business survey respondents.  Interviews were also held with various City departments to obtain their input.  

The end result was the completion of an Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2017-2022.  This was reviewed and approved for submission to City Council by EDAC on April 11, 2017.  The Strategy sets out 5 broad Goals, 13 specific Objectives and 57 Action Items to be pursued over the 2017-2022 period by the City in collaboration with other partners.  Each Action Item includes performance indicators and timing priority.  If approved by Council, the Action Items will be included in the City's Corporate Plan going forward.  

The key priorities for the Updated Strategy are to continue growing our non-residential tax base as a proportion of total assessment and expanding and diversifying the local employment base.  Both are important for long-term community sustainability.  Each Goal, Objective and Action Item in the Updated Strategy is intended to support these priorities.  The overall approach has been to create a comprehensive and integrated approach to economic development that recognizes the linkages to many other City initiatives such as the Cultural Master Plan, Growth Plan, Municipal Development Plan and Land Use Bylaw reviews, recreation facility studies, broadband deployment, public transit, etc.  

A presentation to Council on the Updated Economic Development Strategy 2017-2022 will be given by the lead consultant, Lauren Millier, of MDB Insight.  This will be preceded by an introduction and overview of the strategy development process by members of the Economic Development Advisory Committee - Bruce Mullett and Cindy Barclay.  

1. Copy of Presentation to Council by Lauren Millier, MDB Insight

2. Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2017-2022.  
As described above, the Updated Strategy 2017-2022 involved an extensive public engagement and consultation process.  There was a strong focus on social media to raise awareness and provide opportunities for the public to provide comments and review drafts of the Strategy.  The survey response rate was good with over 200 from the community and 150 from businesses.  This was supplemented with interviews and direct contact with stakeholder groups.  
An economic development strategy can be an important tool for communities to communicate with existing businesses, potential investors and residents.  It should provide confidence about the business climate, establish future direction and priorities for economic development, and signal a readiness to work with business and other stakeholders to attract and retain investment.  The Updated Strategy 2017-2022, if approved, will become part of our marketing program and will be distributed largely in electronic format.  
The measure of success for this Updated Economic Development Strategy is the continued growth of the non-residential tax base as a proportion of total assessment and expanding and diversifying our local employment base.  This generates increased tax revenues for the community to support programs and services and more opportunities for residents to work closer to home.  

Fiscal Impact
Financial Implications:
MDB Insight Presentation
Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan 2017-2022

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