More than 400 businesses in the City of Grande Prairie, Sexsmith, Wembley, Beaverlodge, and Hythe will be surveyed over the next few weeks as part of a regional business priorities initiative.

Proposed by officials in Sexsmith, the survey is aimed at gathering information to help all municipalities involved better understand the future plans and needs of local businesses. It’s also hoped to help them plan future economic development activities focused on the top priorities of local businesses.

“We’re hoping to work closely with the other municipalities and be able to support them in identifying their unique strengths and opportunities for economic diversification and supporting their local businesses,” says Grande Prairie Economic Development Manager Rebecca Leigh. “The city is excited to work with them in helping support business strength in the region.”

Beaverlodge Mayor Gary Rycroft says he is thrilled with the idea and says a region working together can better get a grip and understanding of the needs of residents throughout the Peace Country.

“The Town of Beaverlodge would like to acknowledge the importance of the regional economic development strategy and that all the findings will be taken seriously for the future of our community,” he says. “Change is inevitable and we must work together to ensure a successful outcome.”

Officials say businesses will be called at random until December 20th by MDB Insight, an economic development consulting firm. There is no given timeline as to when the results of the survey will be published.