Northern Sunrise debates tax rebate

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Northern Sunrise County Council is creating a tax rebate incentive for any new businesses wanting to build within its Sunrise Gateway Business Park (SGBP).
The SGBP was established years ago across from the county office to be a full-service business park that provided necessary services for industries throughout the county. The idea was for the park to become a hub for the county and neighbouring communities.
Reeve Corinna Williams says SGBP is located just off Highway 2 with access to Highway 688, making it easily accessible.
“SGBP has everything entrepreneurs need to open a business,” Williams says. “(It has) all services, water, power, natural gas, and fibre optic internet, right at the property line and is easy to hook up.”
Williams says the details of the incentive are being finalized by administration and information about the incentive program will be provided to council soon. She says in order to qualify for the incentive, the development will need to be new construction on one of the vacant, undeveloped lots within the SGBP.
“Council wants to see the county and the region grow and flourish,” says Williams.
“We recognize that to see growth, we need to attract new businesses and residents to our municipality,” she adds.
She notes the County has developed conceptual plans that may be of interest to entrepreneurs looking at developing in the SGBP, or other parts of the county allowed under the Land Use Bylaw. She says this includes winery/distillery, small cheese manufacturing, farm store and glamping. The county also has available a vertical farming study and a tourism idea booklet.
Williams says council is committed to helping entrepreneurs succeed, and they have the ability to apply for grant funding to help with hiring of a business coach that can help with business development, loan applications, and transitioning to digital sales and website design.
“We want to work with the businesses to find the best spot for their operation,” she says.
“There is also a value-added Agricultural or Tourism Grant that provides county residents who qualify with up to $20,000 for the diversification of a current business, or to start a new one.”
The County is set to welcome a new business to the SGBP, as a company recently passed the federal and provincial regulations to start a cannabis growth facility within the park. They are willing to work with any new ideas that may come and urge entrepreneurs to contact their office.
“We are open for business and make it as simple as possible for those companies wanting to come in,” says Williams.
“We welcome anyone who would like to provide services or industries to work with our economic development officer, as well as our development officer.”
If anyone is interested in opening a business at the Sunrise Gateway Business Park, or anywhere else within the county, they are asked to contact economic development officer Lynn Florence at (780) 624-0013.

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