The City of Nanaimo initiated an update of a number of key strategic planning policy documents in 2020, including a new comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The Economic Development Strategy has taken its overarching direction from Council’s Strategic Plan and will be integrated into the City’s new Official Community Plan. The strategy provides the roadmap for building a thriving, resilient and prosperous region over the next three years.
The purpose of the strategy is to strengthen the economic base of the region and contribute to sustainable prosperity for residents and businesses. The strategy sets out the future direction for economic development in order to increase opportunities for the growth of existing businesses, the establishment of new enterprises and increased employment opportunities for our residents.
Nanaimo City Council made a commitment to re-establish the City’s economic development function following the closure of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation in 2017.
On November 18, 2019 Council established the The Economic Development Task Force (the Task Force). The Task Force had two deliverables: to create an economic development strategy for the City of Nanaimo and to develop an external agency (Nanaimo Prosperity Corporation).
Economic Development Strategy
The Task Force engaged Lions Gate Consulting Inc. to prepare the Economic Development Strategy with a work plan including the following key steps:
- Review of background documents;
- Interviews with key informants;
- Preparation of a Current Situation Report;
- Sectoral Focus Groups;
- Scenario Planning workshop with a focus on the impacts of COVID-19;
- Survey to local businesses to understand issues and opportunities;
- REIMAGINE Nanaimo Sub-Survey with a focus on economic development;
- Economic Development Strategy Planning Workshops; and
- Preparation of a Draft Plan.
The Strategy was prepared in collaboration with Council's other key initiatives, notably, REIMAGINE Nanaimo, the Mayor's Task Force on Recovery and Resilience, and the Health and Housing Task Force, to ensure alignment of priorities and resourcing.
Final Economic Development Strategy
Nanaimo Prosperity Corporation
Neilson Strategies was engaged by the Task Force to facilitate discussion, undertake research on best practice, and to prepare the Corporation Charter for the external agency.
The key elements of the Charter are the following: Purpose, Mandate, Ownership, Board of Directors, Funding, Remuneration and Five-Year Review.
Final External Agency Corporation Charter