The Estevan Chamber of Commerce has been working on a long-term economic development plan, and it expects the final version of the plan could be finished early in the spring.
Community development manager Michel Cyrenne said that the organization's economic development officer, Manpreet Sangha, has been working on the document for several months. Sangha's predecessor had also spent time working on the plan before he resigned.
"At our last economic development committee meeting – which is a partnership between the City, the RM and the Chamber of Commerce – … we presented it to them, went over it step by step, exactly what is entailed in the plan, and they're currently reviewing it," said Cyrenne.
The economic development committee will meet again soon, provide input for the plan, and revamp it. Then a final edition will be written.
The plan outlines what the Chamber's objectives are in terms of how they want to target manpower and financial needs, align themselves with the priorities of the City and the RM, and what the Chamber can do to help the two municipalities reach their priorities.
The plan features six priorities:
*Seek and attract investment in Estevan. Cyrenne said much of the plan encompasses how to promote local investment opportunities.
*Labour recruitment. Not only does this involve bringing more skilled workers, but he said it also examines the lack of affordable housing. A lack of housing remains the biggest impediment for bringing workers to Estevan.
*Infrastructure spending. Cyrenne said it considers which infrastructure expenditures help with economic development, and which ones are nice to have for a community.
*Business growth and development. A lot of this will involve working with the existing business community, Cyrenne said, to make sure it's able to growth.
*Social and environmental development. Future economic development activities need to be both socially responsible and cognizant of the environment, Cyrenne said.
*Downtown revitalization. It's something that the Chamber has looked at previously, and Cyrenne believes it has to remain a priority.
"I think this plan would also work concurrently, or in partnership, with the City and the RM, who have their official community plans," said Cyrenne.
Cyrenne is optimistic that the plan could be approved by the economic development committee within a couple of months.