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The Partnership for a Vibrant Local Economy has launched a set of new online investment tools for Ladysmith and the surrounding area to serve as a driver for economic activity and attract new business opportunities.
The new one-stop resources for locals, visitors and those looking to do business here includes a new Tourism Ladysmith and Invest Ladysmith mobile-friendly website, as well as a supporting Ladysmith Heritage and Investment App. The promotion of local business and future opportunities is especially timely as communities move through the phases of BC’s Restart Plan.
These important initiatives are the result of a working collaboration between the Town of Ladysmith, Stz’uminus First Nation, the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, Ladysmith Downtown Business Association, Nanaimo Airport, Economic Development Cowichan and Community Futures Central Island – a group collectively known as The Partnership for a Vibrant Local Economy.
Creation of the investment tools is supported by a $27,500 grant from Island Coastal Economic Trust, with additional funds totaling $17,500 contributed by the project partners. The group also acknowledges $10,000 in funding support from the federal government through the Digital Skills for Youth Program, allowing the Ladysmith Chamber to hire a digital intern who spearheaded the collection and imagery for the new website.
The local economic development tools achieve key recommendations contained within the Ladysmith Economic Development Strategy – an action-oriented blueprint for the local partners to continue to work together for community benefit.
In the short-term during this crucial recovery period, the tourism and investment website offers a valuable directory of which businesses are open to serve clients and customers, as well as any safety measures that are in place during BC’s Phase Restart Plan.
The Invest Ladysmith website also includes labour force indicators, up-to-date information on investment opportunities and incentives, and other resources that demonstrate the advantages of doing business in Ladysmith and area. It provides information on key investment zones, such as Oyster Bay, Downtown Ladysmith and the Nanaimo Airport, with an online listing portal of the currently available commercial and light industrial properties.
A significant achievement of these new business resources is the increased collaboration between local economic development stakeholders – demonstrating the strong cooperation among partners as an advantage to investing in the area.
Included in the launch of the mobile-friendly website design is a complete marketing rebrand of Tourism Ladysmith and the addition of “Invest Ladysmith” under the taglines ‘A View to Sea’ and ‘Business Friendly,’ respectively.
The Tourism Ladysmith website is valuable for both locals and visitors and has you covered with where to shop, eat and play on the 49th Parallel. You’ll also find a listing of trails waiting to be discovered, information on the arts and suggested heritage walking routes.
All in the palm of your hand or at the click of a button, the new Ladysmith Heritage and Investment App is a snapshot of our rich cultural and industrial history and the prosperous future we are building together. The investment side of the app is an extension of the new website and allows users to explore the different commercial development areas in and around Ladysmith, as well as uncover opportunities for those interested in doing business here. The heritage side of the app offers a series of trails with multiple points of interest that you can explore at your leisure to uncover information about the town’s history and its people, from the earliest Indigenous inhabitants, through to the present day.
Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce is managing the implementation and operations of the website and app through an expanded service agreement with the Town. Ladysmith-area Farm Fresh Designs is credited with the creation of the website and design elements that were incorporated into the mobile app. Surface Impressions led the development of the app. The app can be downloaded through Google Play by searching ‘Ladysmith Heritage’ and will be available in the coming days through the Apple App Store. You can access it now through your browser as a web app with no download required.
Thank you to all of the project partners, and a special thanks to the Ladysmith & District Historical Society for their important contributions to this project.
“The launch of these important investment tools is timely as our businesses begin to reopen and are in need of our support. Now more than ever is an opportunity for locals, and our regional locals, to discover Ladysmith and the surrounding area through these mobile-friendly resources,” said Mayor Aaron Stone.
“The new website and mobile walking app demonstrate the strong partnerships between the Town, Stz’uminus First Nation and the business community as just one of many advantages of investing here. They are also foundational pieces we can build upon and a case study for lessons we can take away for other areas of the Cowichan Region.”
“When we started the project it was with the need for economic development for the Ladysmith area in mind and now more than ever, economic development is key for our area,” Tammy Leslie, president, Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce.
“This allows the community at-large to have, at their fingertips, a resource for this information. I am very excited to see this project move forward as we launch it and it becomes available to the visitors and residents of our area.”
“It is designed to showcase our investment opportunities and our heritage but with the current situation with the pandemic it has been tweaked to also include important information regarding businesses in the area that are open and what the protocols are in place.”
Aaron Stone, Mayor
Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director