Terrace’s new economic development officer wants to hear from you.
Blaine Moore, hired by the Terrace Economic Development Authority (TEDA) to replace Evan van Dyk who moved to Australia, has been working to get the lay of the land, meeting northwest business and government stakeholders in order to determine how best to serve the authority and the community.
“My goal is to get up and running very, very fast,” Moore said. “I’m hoping that in the next month I’ll be able to spend some time talking to local business owners and getting some feedback.”
The TEDA job is a bit of a homecoming for Moore, a former business auditor who moved here from Victoria, B.C. Originally from Kitimat, he left after high school to play hockey in the United States – he had a successful professional career, rising to the league below the NHL.
“It’s a great time to be up here – really couldn’t have been a better opportunity,” Moore said of his new job.
Things have clearly changed since the last time he lived here. “The first thing that obviously comes to mind is the rink being twinned,” he said. “When I was a kid it was not twinned. And the mall with the huge upgrade, and lots of upgrades and additions to retail, service.”
The area is likely to continue changing as more development takes place – so Moore wants to help the city and its businesses be ready to act on issues that are in the city’s best interest.
Although he has connections to the northwest, and family and friends here, his time away in larger markets gives him a fresh perspective on the area. Previously, TEDA was mainly focussed on getting attention on Terrace, he said.
“We think we’re in a position now where we don’t have to market Terrace as far as a location to do business,” he said, of the TEDA board’s overall plan. “The whole region has been exposed and marketed plenty. People know where Terrace is.”
TEDA now wants to make sure local businesses are well-positioned to take advantage of the potential boom and current market – part of a multi-pronged approach that involves taking advantage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) opportunities, increasing the tax base through industry, creating higher paying jobs, and basically promoting Terrace as a great place to live and visit.
“Try to take advantage of the dollars in the northwest,” Moore said. “LNG seems to be an area that is booming economically and we feel that Terrace, strategically placed, is a great opportunity for new businesses, existing businesses to take advantage of the market and the procurement.”
“We’re going to focus on relationships, networking,” he continued, noting TEDA envisions working closely with the chamber and tourism bodies to collaborate on future projects. “It’s kind of two tails – new business, and making sure the existing business is sound and will be in the area for years to come.”