Plans in the works to improve a regional website

A second project phase is being prepared to bolster the Internet gateway to major projects in northwestern B.C.

  • Jan. 1, 2012 6:00 a.m.

A SECOND project phase is being prepared to bolster the Internet gateway to major projects in northwestern B.C.

Spearheaded by the city’s economic arm, the  website investnorthwestbc.ca launched this fall with a purpose to link investors, industry executives, business owners and workers to information about major projects happening in the area.

Now, more work is being done to add to the website and reach beyond the internet to create opportunities.

Terrace Economic Development Authority (TEDA) officer Evan Van Dyk says  $74,000 will be invested in the website with a  cost of zero to the City of Terrace  as the majority of the money will come from provincial grants, with about 10 per cent to come from businesses.

Which is why Van Dyk appeared before city councillors December 12 to ask the city for a letter of support to help seek out funding avenues through the province.

He says the budget for the project is going to be $10,000 in upgrades to the website, $25,000 on updates to all of the information in the community and investment profiles, $14,000 in marketing material and another $25,000 in advertising promotions.

“The website has had great initial success,” said mayor Dave Pernarowski at the December 12 meeting.  “It’s going to be important for our community as well as the rest of the region.”

Council agreed to write the letter, but not before councillor Stacey Tyers asked for clarification on how the money would be spent.

Van Dyk explained the website would be updated, including adding smaller communities to the current list of community profiles.

Small business information could be added, he said, although a different section would need to be created from the one listing major projects.

Links between companies and their job boards would also be created.

“It gives people information on how to find work in these major projects,” said Van Dyk.

A First Nations community map with contact information will be added, and the possibility for selling procurement information locally is being considered.

Van Dyk added there’s a substantial cost to updating  information with 2011 census statistics, involving updates to community profiles.

TEDA is looking to create a mobile web application for the site, and marketing for the site is also underway.

“We are putting together brochures for trade shows, snap banners, print advertising for newspapers and things like that,”  he said.

“And some custom advertising if a community wants to advertise locally.”

Also, using privately sourced funds from company buy-ins, TEDA’s looking to reach a little farther with advertising for the site.

“We’d be looking at advertising the website in places like Invest BC Magazine, Northern Roots magazine,” he said, adding to the list sponsoring conferences like minerals north and global and national newspaper advertising.

TEDA is tasked by the city with promoting growth in Terrace’s economy, and receives $165,000 annually from the city for fees for service.

The first phase of the website cost $10,000, and was shared amongst various public and private interests across the region.

“It adds credibility to the region that the communities are willing to work together for the joint benefit of the region,” Van Dyk said, noting it is also important for rural B.C. to engage with international investors.

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