As part of the BC Jobs Plan commitment to work with communities to build their economic development capacity, and following stakeholder feedback, several resources have been developed by the Province to support communities in local economic development efforts.
The BC Ideas Exchange is a growing online collection of case studies in economic development excellence focusing on British Columbia’s communities. When faced with economic development challenges, communities can turn to examples of success from their neighbours near and far. Each story concisely outlines the innovations and lessons learned when a community pulls together to address a challenge.
The Strategic Planning Toolkit is a robust, customizable tool to help communities create an actionable economic development plan. A self-assessment sets the stage to guide users through templates and facilitation materials in the development of strategic plan customized for the community. This process can be self-guided or undertaken with the assistance of their local regional manager.
In-community workshops continue to help communities identify their unique economic development opportunities. Since January 2016, 54 regional workshops have been delivered in B.C. communities including topics on Economic Development Building Blocks, Economic Development Essentials for First Nations Leaders, Land Development and the newly launched Business Retention and Expansion.
The BC Ideas Exchange and Strategic Planning Toolkit can be found online at the Province’s Economic Development Portal, which serves as a one-stop shop to meet the needs of economic development practitioners in B.C. and to support communities at every stage of economic development. Other tools include:
- Funding & Grants Search: Find financial support for communities by searching the up-to-date database.
- Performance Measurement: Demonstrate the value of community initiatives with this self-guided toolkit.
- BC Economic Atlas: Visualize a region’s potential and make better decisions with a powerful economic data-mapping tool.
- Webinar Series: Keep up on current trends and innovative practices with live or recorded webinars.
All of the tools available on the Economic Development Portal support the recently announced Building on our Rural Advantages: B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy. The strategy outlines the Province’s long-term vision to ensure that British Columbians in all regions of the province have the opportunity for well-paying jobs and a high quality of life in their community.
The BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan
BC Economic Development Portal: www.gov.bc.ca/economicdevelopment