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Good news for local Langley companies

A plan to enhance the economy and guide local businesses towards a successful and profitable future has been put in place for the Township of Langley.

A new economic development strategy was approved by Township council on April 16, after a presentation from Steve Nicol of Lion’s Gate Consulting.

The strategy is good news for companies and business owners currently located in the community, and those thinking of making Langley their home.

The strategy includes six goals that are to be achieved by implementing 43 specific initiatives over the next seven or eight years. According to Township economic development manager Gary MacKinnon, they will work well for local businesses, because they were created with help from local businesses and members of the community.

“The most important aspect of the creation of the new strategy was the phenomenal public input we received,” MacKinnon said. “The new vision and mission statements that embody the strategy represent the thoughts and ideas of residents, business owners, and land owners, combined with those of council and staff.”

An online community survey, focus group sessions, stakeholder interviews, and visioning workshops were all held to help create the strategy, which is also based on economic research and studies of the Township’s current economic situation, its employment land use, and future trends.

“Our goal is to help businesses succeed in our community,” said Mayor Jack Froese. “This new economic development strategy will ensure our commercial climate continues to develop in harmony with our rural and urban communities.”

The new strategy was initiated by the volunteer-run Economic Development Advisory Committee, after goals and actions outlined in the 2002 strategy were completed.

The 2012 strategy will focus on creating additional jobs, expanding and attracting new industries, facilitating infrastructure improvement, developing a town centre, encouraging learning, and enhancing quality of life.

It also sets up a work plan for the Township’s economic development department that encourages communication and the sharing of information: “In addition to the business retention, attraction, and expansion services we focus on every day, the Strategy sees us making the public more aware of issues by distributing Township-related economic news and statistics,” MacKinnon said.

“This will help businesses make effective, cost-efficient decisions that will in turn support investment and job growth, and increase the income base in the Township of Langley.”

The new economic development strategy can be viewed under the headlines section of the Township’s website at tol.ca.

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