Websites aim to bring in money

AROUND $40,000 is being spent by the city’s economic arm to develop two websites in the hopes that they will promote the northwest and attract investment.

AROUND $40,000 is being spent by the city’s economic  arm to develop two websites in the hopes that they will promote the northwest and attract investment.

“With everything happening in the region, we thought now would be the perfect time to update our website,” said Evan van Dyk, economic development officer for the Terrace Economic Development Authority (TEDA). The authority is the city’s economic arm tasked with promoting growth in Terrace’s economy, and receives $165,000 annually from the city for fees for service.

TEDA is getting a re-vamp of its website that includes a new design, brand strategy, and marketing management system. Van Dyk said the site will cost $36,250, with about $3,000 of this covered by grant money from Invest in Canada community initiatives. Vancouver-based web-marketing concept firm SmashLab is working on the project.

Despite not being the least expensive bid for the project, van Dyk said it was SmashLab’s marketing strategy that influenced the TEDA board’s decision to hire them.

“We’re trying to reach investors from across the world,” said van Dyk.

“This is our number one marketing tool, 95 per cent of our marketing and will have by far the most outreach.”

TEDA’s new website is set to launch in August.

The second website TEDA is working on is  www.investnorthwestbc.ca, a municipal and interest-driven collaboration spanning the northwest region to include Haida Gwaii, east to Burns Lake, north to the Yukon border and south to Kitimat.

The site’s price tag is estimated at $10,000 and this cost will be shared. Who will share the cost is yet to be confirmed, explained van Dyk.

This site will focus on economic information sharing  that will benefit local and outside interest in the area.

It will combine information and serve as a database, including information such as job postings, contact information for local industry, bidding information, projects underway, environmental reports, and anticipated project timelines among others.

Van Dyk said there were numerous current and proposed projects in the area that were bringing in big dollars: Apache Kitimat LNG Plant, $5.5 billion; Rio Tinto Alcan Modernization, $2.7 billion; Northwest Transmission Line, $404  million; AltaGas Forrest Kerr Project, $700 million; Galore Creek, $2.5 billion; Avanti Kitsault Molybdenum mine, $794 million; Container port expansion, $600 million; Ridley Industrial Site, $2.5 billion.

He said there is currently no tool that provides information like this in one place.

“These projects will require a large number of diversified services, from heavy industry to bridge building to smaller services such as the laundering of overalls,” van Dyk said. “When these service providers take on large jobs, they have to hire extra workers.

“The people employed in Terrace will then have disposable income to spend in local restaurants and stores, completing the trickle-down effect,” he continued.

The idea has already caught the attention of Invest BC, the government agency which promotes B.C. to the rest of the world.

Van Dyk said Invest BC has shown interest in using the site to promote the region.

The second website is expected to launch in September.