Submitted by AbbotsfordFIRST Abbotsford has become an unfriendly place to do business. Businesses are leaving the city and existing businesses are frustrated.
Cover: AbbotsfordFIRST president Fred Thiessen
Business owners have clearly stated their desire to operate in Abbotsford, but want to feel welcomed by a local government that helps connect them with the resources and tools needed for their businesses to thrive here.
Public servants at City Hall have a difficult role – protecting the public interest, stewardship of tax dollars and many other factors to consider day-in and day-out.
The gap between the needs of the business community and service delivery at City Hall needs to be filled.
In order to foster the growth of a business-friendly environment in Abbotsford, AbbotsfordFIRST will put a strategy with meaningful programs in place to address the services gaps currently present. We will implement a cohesive plan that will support the growth of existing businesses and attract investment to Abbotsford, thereby allowing Abbotsford to realize its full economic potential.
Our strategy will focus on enhancing these core areas: customer service, investment attraction, business retention and expansion, specialized training and implementing a new Official Community Plan. Our goal primary goal is to address the gap between business needs and bureaucracy by serving some of our most important customers, businesses owners and investors. We will streamline processes to reduce red-tape and create a climate that encourages both existing business growth, and investment attraction. Small businesses are the backbone of the local economy. Owners work incredibly hard to bring their services to our community and need to be supported by a City Council that understands their concerns and works as a team to moves things forward.
Abbotsford is in a unique competitive position with its airport, hospital and post-secondary institutions. Communities with these assets are recognized as having the highest potential for long-term success, especially when these three entities work together with government, business and industry.
AbbotsfordFIRST will establish a collaborative approach by working together with industry, business, education and government to leverage all of our individual and collective assets.
In our view, economic success is essential, and well within reach when we approach the complex issues as a team. Together we can create a business-friendly environment and benefit from a vibrant, local economy as a result.
The AbbotsfordFIRST Society board includes Fred Thiessen (President), Jack Robertson (Vice-President), June Ross (Secretary), Eric Nyvall (Financial Agent) and Marty Snider (Membership Chair). The Society is fielding a number of candidates in the November 15 municipal election who will each be running individually on their own track record.