Board of trade seeks to expand its outreach

A stronger economy is projected for next year by Stettler Board of Trade and Community Development after 2010 showed signs of rebounding out of the downturn in the region.

“We continue to advertise Stettler outside our borders to attract new businesses and residents,” board of trade executive director Keith Ryder said as he presented the 2011 budget for the board to Town of Stettler council at its regular meeting Dec. 7.

“We have to promote, promote, promote,” he said.

With the trade show in April and the Stettler Steel Wheel Stampede in August the main events sponsored by the board of trade, the business organization wants to strengthen and add to these events.

“We want to strengthen events we already have and to get more people involved,” said Ryder, who served as the town’s mayor from 1995 to 2004.

“We‘ve also got to get our town float in parades in other communities – we want to get out to six parades in neighouring communities next year.”

The board of trade continues to build regional partnerships.

“We have been working and communicating closer with the County of Settler on various projects,” said Ryder.

Serving the region, the board of trade functions as an information centre to attract new businesses to the community.

“We provide support to businesses and employers,” said Ryder.

“We hope to start work to host more business networking sessions for local businesses in January.”

Campaigns to attract new physicians to the region remains a top priority as the board of trade facilitates a committee with the Town of Stettler and the County of Stettler.

“We have strengthened our medical services although we are still short of physicians,” said Ryder.

The board of trade is the first contact Stettler has with new and candidate physicians.

Last year, the board of trade produced a new promotional video and upgraded its website.

As a tourist destination, Stettler is promoted through the board of trade as a member of Canadian Badlands, Boomtown Trail, Trail of the Buffalo, Central Alberta Tourism, red Deer Regional Tourism and Travel Alberta.

Plans are well underway for two major special events strongly supported by the board of trade.

The 31st annual Stettler Trade Show is set for April 15 to 17 and Stettler Steel-Wheel Stampede returns in August for the third successive year.

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