Mayor and Council have had no time to sit back and enjoy the sunshine this summer as they made local business a priority, undertaking one of their core objectives, to gain a stronger understanding of the local business environment and the associated opportunities and challenges they are facing.
Through a series of business tours organized by the Economic Development Office and joined by members of the Economic Development Select Committee (an advisory body to council made up of local business owners and managers), the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures North Fraser, council have been hitting the streets for one-on-one time with a variety of businesses, to gain further insight on the diverse range of goods and services available within our community.
With a focus on locally owned, independent manufacturers and small businesses, the tours saw the group out for half day sessions in July, August and into September, meeting a cross section of over twenty companies including
- V.I.P Soap Products
- Grab-A-Java Roastery
- Justin Bond & Sons
- Hill’n Dale Animal Hospital
- Technaflora Plant Products
Those in attendance gained first-hand experience of production processes, labor force requirements, exports and sales; and delved into some of the day to day issues these organizations are currently facing.
This makes it sound like all work, but sampling home grown wines and local roasted coffee have seen the team enjoying the warm hospitality of the companies as they tour the facilities. Councillor Alexis commented “It has been an incredible opportunity for council to see and experience what is going on in the business community. At the same time we are learning what more we can do, or what we can change to make Mission a great place to do business.”
Council are listening
Companies were welcomed to discuss concerns and challenges they are facing, and where the municipality could be of assistance. Already the municipality has risen to the challenge offering letters of support, exploring internet connectivity options and infrastructure requirements, to name but a few; and so far the feedback has all been good. Ray Cyr, President of Fraser Valley Building Supplies Mission Rona noted “It was a great opportunity to meet many of the key folks down at city hall and have them showing a genuine interest in our locally owned business. Within only a couple of days of the tour action plans were initiated to address some of our concerns and opportunities, it’s nice to see such a quick response”
It has also created a buzz as the companies and District share the visits on their social media channels, highlighting the value of these companies to our local economy. Louise Tran, Marketing Communications Manager for InterWrap shared tweets and said “It was a pleasure having the City of Mission accompanied by Mayor Randy Hawes visit our InterWrap Mission location during the #InvestMission visits! The tour was a great opportunity for InterWrap to showcase what we do at our plant on a daily operational basis. We are honored to contribute to the growth and development of the Mission community; this is a great chance to bring the people together with local businesses. As we are adding production lines to our InterWrap Mission location, we are excited to be connecting and supporting Mission City.”
By the time the tours are complete a tangible representation of Mission’s business environment will have been reached, giving a stronger understanding of needs, requirements and opportunities for sustainability and improved relationships. Councillor Hinds added “It has been an eye opener to see the scope and variety of businesses in Mission, along with the positive outlook for growth.”