by Andru McCracken

Karen Dube is McBride’s Economic Development Officer.

Vancouver based Lions Gate Consulting has been chosen to develop an economic development action plan for McBride, and Economic Development Officer Karen Dube said their work will start early next week.

Dube said the action plan is needed.

“We can’t move forward unless we have some common goals,” said Dube.

Dube said the answer to economic development will be found inside the community, from business owners and the people on the ground.

Four year old Tyler enjoys a pretzel at Shops on Main in McBride on Friday afternoon. Tyler is known to be a heck of a good sales person for the pretzels, and isn’t doing a bad job right here. / ANDRU MCCRACKEN

“They [local businesses and people] may have some great solutions. We don’t need to look outside to find them,” she said.

She said Lions Gate will use the resources in McBride to conduct further research, build strategies, and develop the action plan.

Dube said the effort is broader than the business walk that occured in October.

“The business walk was focussed on the downtown core,” she said. “This is much more comprehensive.”

McBride Mayor Loranne Martin said her hope is that the plan is robust.

“There are so many factors that affect McBride outside of our limits,” she said. “This is looking at the bigger picture.”

The plan will cost McBride $29,845. Martin said the funding has been provided by the Rural Dividend Fund – Special Circumstances Stream. The $50,000 fund was allocated to McBride following the BKB Mill fire in spring 2017.

With this economic action plan, a village strategic plan, as well as an asset management plan, Martin said the village is preparing a solid foundation to build on.

“When you live in a small community and you don’t have that huge tax base you really have to be inventive,” said Martin.

Dube said the group would conduct extensive community consultation including one-on-one interviews, and focus groups early next week and present to council January 23rd.

Dube is hoping for some tangible short and medium term goals developed by the community.