There’s a lot of excitement and optimism in the air after Susan Cudahy’s first 30 days as CEO of the NEDC. The NEDC has been formed to allow the business community to move forward with economic development plans at an arms-length from the Nanaimo’s city government. Economic plans will be made in-line with the vision of the city, but at the speed of business – not the speed of government!
The NEDC is basically a sales and marketing organization and Nanaimo is its product.
- Priorities for the NEDC include:
- Rebranding Nanaimo
- Developing a clarity of vision for all stakeholders
- A new downtown hotel to allow the conference centre to attract more business.
- Attracting new carriers and new destinations for Nanaimo’s airport – Calgary being a top priority.
- Re-establishing a fast ferry service, downtown Nanaimo to downtown Vancouver
- Attracting a larger commercial and industrial tax base to take the pressure of the residential tax base.
- Developing a “concierge philosophy” in City Hall. i.e. a customer service approach that gives the message – “Your business is welcome here”.