Paradise wins award for business attraction effort

·2 min read

The Town of Paradise has been named a winner in the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) annual Marketing Canada Awards 2020 in the single publication category for its “Just Imagine Retail Opportunities Brochure.”

The brochure, which bears the name of Economic Development Officer Jennifer Penney, who was also awarded the EDAC’s President’s Award in October 2020, paints a picture of a vibrant, young, well-to-do, family-oriented community in hopes of enticing businesses to town.

“She leads our efforts for economic development in the town and she does a fantastic job,” said Mayor Dan Bobbett.

Bobbett applauded the work Penney has done in the six or so years she has been on staff.

“I’d like to throw out a big bouquet to Jennifer Penney,” said Bobbett. “In my first term as mayor, we did an economic development strategy and that identified the need for an economic development officer, and since then we’ve been doing quite well.”

He attributes the influx of chain companies and industrial park growth to the town’s commitment to strong economic development.

“All those retail opportunities are a result of doing the leg work, and doing the research, and getting the numbers, and having it readily available for businesses when they call to ask questions about our town,” said Bobbett.

The brochure, which contains current demographic information, ranging from traffic counts to population to the median household income, is made available to businesses considering setting up shop in Paradise.

“These demographics that we have already on file to be readily available, that’s what these companies are looking for when they come to shop,” said Bobbett. “They want to know those things; they want to know what their market is. Jennifer has it already on hand, and she can send out the documentation to these companies…. People ask what are we doing to entice businesses to come. We can’t just go out and say, ‘Businesses, come here.’ We have to have the information, and the economic development officer works with those businesses.”

Bobbett said strong economic development is just one piece of growing the community, but it’s an important one.

“It’s about building a town that people will want to come live, work, and play in,” he said. “We still are maintaining one of the fastest growing municipalities in Atlantic Canada. Even during COVID last year, we had 77 housing starts — significant to everyone else on the Avalon. It’s a young population, and a growing population.”

Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News