After a two-year delay due to Covid-19, the County of Grande Prairie is set to host the 2023 Business Retention and Expansion International Conference this June.
The county was originally awarded hosting rights to the 2020 event back after the conference in 2019. Economic Development Officer for the County of Grande Prairie Hetti Huls says over the past couple of years the, the county has been able to co-host the online conference until they could bring it back to the region for 2023. The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn, in the City of Grande Prairie.
“Business Retention and Expansion works with economic developers and business leaders to strategize on how they can retain their employees, how they can retain their business, how they can continue working, succession planning, and that type of thing,” Huls says. “Just different ideas on things that we could target that relates to what is going on currently in the economic world.”
Huls explains when you look at economic development in a community, business retention is a large part of the plan. Making sure existing businesses grow and flourish helps create a solid base to support and contribute to the local economy, while also employing residents.
Bringing the conference to the region will give a boost to the economy with visitors staying in local hotels, eating at restaurants, and shopping at different stores in the area. The conference will also bring awareness to not only the county but the entire region. The conference will show guests everything the area has to offer.
“Our long summer nights, our friendly people, that we are busy and we are not just in the middle of nowhere. We are actually in the middle of everywhere, we are the last hub and are quite active for the size of our area.”
Presenters will share different programs they have created in their economic regions and the successes they have seen. They will also share their failures to give other business communities strategies and tools to put programs in place and be successful with them.
The event will take place from June 19th to 23rd, with registration scheduled to open in the upcoming months.