AdvantageHOPE: New economic development slogan focuses on the positive

The Hope Businesses and Development Society is putting a positive spin on our ailing economy, with Hope councilor Scott Medlock announcing a new slogan for the community’s economic development efforts at last Monday’s council meeting.

The board of the new Hope Development and Business Society and their resource committee volunteers were appointed in October. Since then the board has hired an economic development officer and opened an office on Raab Street in Hope.

The Hope Businesses and Development Society is putting a positive spin on our ailing economy, with Hope councilor Scott Medlock announcing a new slogan for the community’s economic development efforts at last Monday’s council meeting.

Headed up by new executive director, Tyler Mattheis, the new society will market its economic development efforts to the business world as ‘Advantage HOPE’.

“Advantage HOPE is a great name for our new society…. Advantage Hope can mean many things in different situations, and to different people; the name sets the tone for a positive interaction,” said Mattheis.

The society’s new operating name was the brainchild of a naming committee made up of two directors of the society, and three members of the society’s resource panel.  The “Naming Task Force’ is continuing their work on the development of a logo for the new society.

As a logo design is awaited, the new economic development officer has been kept busy setting up the society’s new office, establishing a 2011 work plan to “benchmark” their efforts, and getting to know the community’s existing studies and regulations.

Along with one-on-ones with local business owners,

“Advantage HOPE is already working with such (organizations) as Destination Hope and Beyond Services (Hope Visitor Centre), the Chamber of Commerce, Community Futures, Vancouver Coast and Mountain Tourism Region, the Hope Art Gallery, and the District of Hope … as we strive to add…

value rather than duplicate existing efforts,” says Mattheis.

The society’s bare bones office located in the former University of the Fraser Valley building opened to visitors this week.

“Local citizens, new residents, potential investors, builders, developers, and business people are encouraged to use our office as a first stop to access pertinent up-to-date local economic information including current initiatives that our clients can access,” says Mattheis.  “As we grow over our first year, Advantage HOPE will produce such information, however, for now we provide information from other sources depending on our clients’ needs.”

Missed the original call-out for volunteers for the new society? For those interested in getting involved with the District of Hope-funded economic development initiative – the office door remains open.

“Advantage Hope welcomes community members to become involved as a volunteer on our resource panel by simply contacting myself and filling out a short one-page application.

“It is our hope that we will have far more volunteers than we can possibly use to avoid going back to the same individuals time after time and to ensure our community has an opportunity to be hands-on in our economic development work.”

The society’s board of directors is also working at establishing a vision and mission statement to be followed by a communication strategy.

Interested residents, property and business owners as well as investors can contact Mattheis for a copy of the district’s five-year Economic Development Plan as well as the society’s 2011 Work Plan.

Advantage Hope office, located at 345 Raab Street, is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Tyler Mattheis can also be contacted by calling 604-860-0930 or by emailing tyler@advantagehope.ca