Organizations from the Parksville Qualicum Beach area signed an agreement that they said will allow an economic plan from 2014 to move forward.
Representatives from the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association, the Qualicum Beach Chamber, the Parksville District Chamber of Commerce, the Parksville Downtown Business Association and the Lighthouse Country Business Association signed a Parksville-Qualicum Beach Region Economic Development Memorandum of Understanding, which will function as a collaborative working agreement between the organizations.
The 2014 strategic economic plan was put forward by Oceanside Initiatives, a group formed in 2009 as a regional coalition of government, education and business organizations focused on economic development. Kim Burden, executive director at the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce, said the plan hasn’t been able to move forward because this step hadn’t been taken yet.
“The first step in that plan is to get full buy in from all of the stakeholders, so this is a step forward, because this is full buy in,” he said.
Jeannie Maltesen, who was representing the PDCC, said the regions as individuals are small, so by joining together, they’ll be able to get more done.
“The idea is that we all want economic development and to do that by signing this MOU we’re going to commit to working together on common goals and making sure that we move forward in our economic development plans,” said Maltesen.
As of now, the economic plan is the primary focus for the region, but Maltesen said they’ll be able to do more as time goes on.
“I think it’s going to be amazing,” she said. “You watch what happens in this region, and then you tell me if this is a good thing.”