Business investment opportunities in the Elk Valley

Business opportunities throughout Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford and Tobacco Plains, collectively known as “The Elk Valley”, are numerous, abundant and diverse.

  • We want your business to locate here.
  • We want your business to take advantage of all the things we have to offer.
  • We want you to invest in our community, recruit our well educated, hard working residents and reap the rewards.
  • We want to add to an already thriving community and we want you to be part of the future story.
Elk Valley Economic Initiative Committee

Members of the Elk Valley Economic Initiative (formerly known as the Elk Valley Regional Economic Development Committee) are representatives of community organizations who share a common interest in regional collaboration around economic development.

Their goals are to:

  • Champion, support and articulate opportunities for projects and initiatives which contribute to regional economic development in the Elk Valley;
  • Create a network and increase communications among individuals and organizations involved in economic development in the Elk Valley; and
  • Link to and avoid duplication with the activities of other regional economic development initiatives that influence the Elk Valley region.
Columbia Basin Business Retention and Expansion Project

The Business Retention and Expansion project was a community-driven effort undertaken by the District of Sparwood focused on identifying the needs of our existing businesses. The project was undertaken with support from the Sparwood Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute.

The objectives of the project were to:

  1. Identify the needs, concerns, and opportunities of existing local businesses in order that, where appropriate, local action can be taken to respond to the businesses’ needs or development opportunities;
  2. Learn of the future plans of the region’s local businesses with respect to expansion, relocation and /or retention and follow-up where assistance can be provided;
  3. Demonstrate the community’s pro-business attitude and develop an effective means of communication with local businesses;
  4. Encourage the business community’s active involvement in economic development.

This report describes findings from a Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) survey conducted at 65 businesses in the District of Sparwood between 2013 and 2014. It was an action-oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development. It promotes job growth by helping communities to learn about concerns of, as well as opportunities for, local businesses and to set priorities for projects to address those needs.

The results of this survey can be used to inform short- and long-term planning. In addition, a number of businesses would benefit from follow-up support. Research findings suggest that the following action areas have the greatest potential to improve the business climate:

  • Local Workforce
  • Youth Employment
  • Business Growth & Expansion
  • Economic Diversification
  • Training
  • Succession and Business Planning
  • Government Services