DIGBY, N.S. - An economic development group has a tool to target commercial and industrial investors in the Digby area.
Erika Rolston, Economic Development Officer, Investment Readiness representative for the Western Regional Enterprise Network (WREN), made a presentation at the Nov. 27 council meeting of the Municipality of Digby. Part of Rolston’s pitch at the meeting was to highlight one of the network’s website tools to attract investors.
The Western Regional Enterprise Network, which is based in Yarmouth, has a mandate to guide and navigate regional economic development. Rolston said one way of doing this is through the network website, especially through the Land Asset Database located via the Invest link.
“The Land Asset Database is targeting site selectors and investors who are looking to make investments or expand their business or open a new shop,” she said. “They’re looking online and they’re saying, ‘Where in Atlantic Canada would be good for what I’ve got’?”
The WREN database map is similar to maps commonly used on real estate websites. For example, if an investor wants to search all commercial/industrial buildings within five kilometres of a fire department in Digby, the Land Asset Database can find it.
“The purpose of this is to have industrial and commercial properties for sale listed alongside the point assets. When I say point assets, I’m referring to a business, a hospital, a fire department, a wharf – any kind of these services. The idea is that any investor could actually use this tool to search.
“If somebody is coming in with a labour intensive project, they’re going to want to know that their people have a place for their kids to go to school, somewhere to recreate, housing for them. So they look for the clusters of assets and opportunities and this map gives that.”
Rolston said having this information online and at the fingertips of investors is important for development.
“If you’re not online and don’t have information about the properties that you have available and the assets that you have available in your region, you’re invisible. They can’t find you.”
Rolston said the database displays properties that have been listed with real estate agents. However, she would like to see private sales added to the database.
“There are a lot of properties for sale or for lease that aren’t listed anywhere. Not online – anywhere. It’s a hand-written sign in the window that says for sale with a phone number.”
For more information on the WREN and its programs, visit: www.westernren.ca