The Leadership Team and Community Task Force met several times to discuss BR+E key findings and recommendations. With the survey results, the team was able to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) for both the region as a whole (see below) and for each of the municipal/area partners (see accompanying sections). In some cases, there are items that are listed in multiple categories of the SWOT. This can be attributed to a number of factors. For example, the cost of electricity is noted as a weakness because it can reduce the competitiveness of a business. It is also noted as a threat because the cost of electricity is decided upon by a third party provider, and therefore, is generally outside of our control.
The process for reviewing key findings and recommendations also yielded four municipal/area specific goals to be addressed by our municipal/area partners and five regional goals to be addressed by a Community Action Planning Process.
Given the need for our project partners to address these individually, the Leadership Team recommended that these goals be shared with each of the project partners for further review, evaluation and the development of specific action items that are relevant for their respective area. The municipal/area goals include:
- Reduce barriers to the planning and development processes
- Foster regional collaboration for short and long term development and growth to ensure investment readiness
- Improved internet services (affordability, access, speed, reliability)
- Improved cost of electricity
The Leadership Team recommended a Community Action Planning Process to review the following goals and develop specific action items for our region to address:
- Celebrate and promote our regional strengths (from a business attraction and economic development perspective)
- Support the expansion of small businesses (with 100 or fewer employees) and entrepreneurs
- Enable growth and assist businesses in leveraging new opportunities (including recreational facilities, new developments, festivals and events)
- Better align the workforce with the needs of the employers
- Develop innovative regional transportation options