Change is important for continued growth

Hope businesses must adapt to stay relevant to their markets

Businesses must constantly adapt to stay competitive in and relevant to their markets.

Thoughtful changes to price, inventory, suppliers, hours of operation, and even core offerings are often required for businesses to stay relevant and profitable.

Similarly, AdvantageHOPE has moved to an office in district hall.

Mindful of tight financial times and with an eye toward maximizing efficiency and service delivery, this move allows the district to realize 4.5 per cent cost savings in the economic development budget, provide better service to clients who now can receive information from AdvantageHOPE and district services in the same building, as well as the ability for AdvantageHOPE to work even more efficiently on joint projects with district staff.

One of the immediate benefits of this move is an even more unified approach to community branding.

As phase one comes to a close, closer collaboration will ensure consistent and effective messaging to current and new residents, potential businesses, and our neighbours. This will enable us to more effectively realize our core message, and achieve continued success.

I am convinced that Hope’s future is a bright spot in the Fraser Valley; it will continue to be a place that people want to be, and inspire those same people to create their own job, or seek employment that enables them to reside here.

The recent announcement of new ownership at Manning Park, strength in our tourism sector with destination accommodations such as the Kw’o:kw’e:hala Eco Vacation retreat reporting pre-2008 activity, and active recruitment efforts from local employers such as Nestle Waters, Hope Machine Shop, and Webco are testament to our local economy’s strength.

AdvantageHOPE continues to be part of a greater community effort to transition to a new age of growth.

We are fortunate to have excellent partners such as local real estate agents and businesses constantly marketing our benefits to current and future residents, and proud to offer contributions from our efforts such as the Retail and Industrial Market Studies which are now regularly requested on our website and in person.

One of our key roles has been to provide data and assurance to the enthusiasm of our residents and to potential investors, and we continue to do so.

Moving forward, AdvantageHOPE will continue to be a tireless advocate for new business, existing business, smart planning, and thoughtful growth.

As many of you may have heard, I will not be a part of those continuing efforts; my path is leading to the East Coast where our children will be closer to one set of grandparents.

Based on my experience here over the past 2.5 years, I am confident that similar paths will lead many other families to this community to enjoy their own families and the many advantages of Hope.

Our committed volunteers and partners are continuing the work and a transition plan is underway.

Hope will be represented at a trade show in Puyallup, Wash. June 1-2, the “Gateway to the Skagit” project, in collaboration with Pathway Partners and the Skagit Environmental Endowment Fund, is gaining steam, a tax revitalization bylaw is expected to be launched this year, and new economic development videos are planned for launch in 2013 with the support of the federal government.

Watch www.AdvantageHOPE.ca or our Facebook page to stay up to date with that and many other activities going forward.

Thank you for the opportunity to share life and community with you.

Tyler Mattheis was the inaugural executive director of AdvantageHOPE. AdvantageHOPE is now located at district hall, 325 Wallace St. For more information, call 605-860-0930, email info@advantagehope.ca or visit www.AdvantageHOPE.ca

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