AdvantageHOPE director Tammy Shields said their 2017 work plan will be finalized soon and will focus on infrastructure, retention and expansion, and lastly, promotion and attraction.
Specifically, they will focus on adopting a hotel tax in order to fund ongoing destination marketing.
In British Columbia, a recently revamped legislation allows municipalities to collect up to three per cent in a hotel tax, up from two per cent.
AdvantageHOPE also wants to run targeted social media advertising campaigns to attract new business, work with local First Nations and partners in regional trails planning and development, and continue business walks.
Internally, they will review and update their communications strategy and update their website.
AdvantageHOPE submitted a grant application for nearly $500,000 to the Rural Dividend Fund.
“If successful, this grant funding would drastically change our budgeting and expand our work plans for the next two years,” said Shields in an email. “We hope to find out by the end of March if this application is successful.”
In crafting their work plan for this year, AdvantageHOPE uses seven goals to guide their economic development strategy, as listed below.
• Population growth that is able to sustain the service needs of residents and the labour market needs of the economy
• A base of sustainable jobs that will allow residents to earn a reasonable living within the community
• Protection of the quality of life attributes that have made Hope an attractive place to live
• A diversified economic base that is able to meet the local budget needs and improve District finances
• Promoting a business friendly atmosphere that fosters growth and development, helping to balance the municipal tax load
• Becoming recognized as a provincial tourism destination, increasing sources of sustainable revenue to the community
• Developing a vibrant downtown core that will attract residents and visitors and build a greater sense of community pride