As a way to improve information on municipal businesses and getting resources to more business owners, Woodlands County is working to establish a business directory.
The Woodlands County Economic Development Committee identified business retention as a top priority during the pandemic. The first step to retaining businesses is knowing who is already doing business in the municipality, however, the committee realized they don’t have an accurate scope of economic activity in the county.
The Committee has suggested that Woodlands County start the process for building and maintaining a business directory, which Mayor John Burrows says would be great for county businesses further away from Whitecourt, like Anselmo, Fort Assiniboine, Goose Lake, and Blue Ridge.
Municipalities can approach the issue of establishing a business directory in various ways and several models were discussed by the Committee including:
• An annual business licensing program (Municipal Bylaw)
• A regional business license (Several entities working together)
• Working with a third party entity to create a business license/directory
• A no fee, voluntary, municipally led process
The creation of a no-fee, voluntary, municipally led process is being recommended by the Woodlands County Economic Development Committee.
After approval from council, the Committee will proceed with the business directory project to have it in place as soon as they can.