Independents Working for You council candidate Garry Shearer speaks at the slate’s campaign launch event on June 19, 2018. (James Smith photo)

No economic development without a plan, says Delta council candidate

Garry Shearer says a the city needs a strategic plan if an economic development office is to work

Council candidate Garry Shearer says encouraging business growth in Delta requires more than just creating an economic development office at city hall.

In a Sept. 25 press release outlining his slate’s campaign commitments on Delta’s economy, Shearer said growing business is a priority for all the Independents Working for You candidates. He said hiring dedicated city staff to liaise with local businesses and focus on economic development will help make city hall accountable for supporting economic initiatives.

“For an economic development office to have an impact, however, we need more, we need to understand the economic issues our business sectors face and have a strategic plan to drive our investment to support our local economy,” Shearer said in the release.

“Our world is changing fast; the way we do business has to keep pace,” he continued, noting that many traditional companies are looking to outsourcing, new forms of supply management and new distribution models.

“To survive in our new global marketplace, Delta businesses need to adapt and be supported in leveraging these developments. Like it or not, we have to change the way we do business, and that includes city hall.”

Shearer, who has helped build companies and negotiate sales of companies in Delta, said it’s important not just to follow the trends in business but to recognize the talent, space and opportunity that Delta brings to economic development, business attraction and retention.

“With our unique advantages, Delta can compete with any jurisdiction to attract and build new businesses,” he said.

Part of the slate’s economic strategy includes attracting more high-tech companies to Delta, as they add high-value jobs to the community, show rapid growth compared to traditional businesses, and tend to multiply and spin-off into more high-tech businesses.

As well, he said, they create four local jobs for every high-tech job, and tend to be green businesses that can co-exist with Delta’s farming culture.

Shearer said Independents Working For You slate will “provide the same strategic initiative with each of the business sectors in Delta,” driving the local economy through discussion and collaboration to “understand the ‘why,’ then the ‘how’ and ‘what’ to become clear and relevant in the implementation of Delta’s economic development plan.”

The civic election will take place on Oct. 20, with advance voting on Oct. 6, 10 and 11.

RELATED: 43 candidates running in Delta civic election



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