A gateway for opportunity has opened thanks to the collaboration of two neighbours.
Black Diamond and Turner Valley joined forces in launching the Discover Black Diamond-Turner Valley website on March 24.
“We tried to present the benefits of living in the communities,” said Turner Valley councillor Jonathan Gordon, a member of the Intermunicipal Economic Development Committee. “Not just doing business in the community but what you can experience here in Turner Valley and Black Diamond.
“I think the website provides that insight in a full and rounded perspective.”
The website is part of the committee's aim to further enhance the economic collaboration between the two towns.
Gordon called the website an “appetizer” for future entrepreneurs to the two communities.
“We wanted this as an introduction,” Gordon said of the site. “As a marketing piece we wanted to bring people in — it’s kind of the appetizer. It gives them the sense that this is where we want to get more information from.
“This marketing website really serves the purpose of attraction. We specifically targeted entrepreneurs, not specific businesses.”
He said the eclectic nature of Black Diamond and Turner Valley make the communities attractive to entrepreneurs.
“It serves as a gateway piece for entrepreneurs,” Gordon said of the website. “We wanted to meet the target of providing the information and answering the question of ‘why should I invest here?’”
The website, which was designed and created by EN Creative out of Calgary, features opportunities, business supports, commercial real estate in the area, and why the Turner Valley and Black Diamond area is an attractive place to not only do business but also to to live.
Tarek Nemr, committee chair, said the team approach by the communities is unique.
“With this site we have the best of both worlds in terms of how this website came together,” said Nemr, co-owner of Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond. “We have a wealth of knowledge in terms of business leaders and owners in both communities, backed up by expertise of councils, administration and staff.
“I think it is something very unique, especially considering the times we are in, in terms of economic times and the (potential) amalgamation of the two towns.”
The site is easy to negotiate for those interested in coming to the area.
“The information that entrepreneurs are interested in knowing at the beginning is right there for them to browse and see, they don’t have to do a lot of digging,” Nemr said. “All of the resources between the two towns on the municipal side are on the website for them to see.”
He said the website more than targets future entrepreneurs to the area. It's also for those who have already made an investment in the communities.
“It will also help current business owners who are hoping to expand, hoping to buy more stores,” Nemr said. “The information shouldn’t be hard to find and that is what the website is doing.”
The website has been in the making for more than 18 months.
“We started with strategies, and we moved to a plan and then we moved to the website,” Nemr said. “It’s been well studied and well thought out before it was put in place.”
The timing for the site couldn’t be much better, Nemr said.
“We are seeing a lot of growth in small towns because people are leaving cities,” Nemr said. “With the ring road, they will be able to commute within a half an hour (of Black Diamond/Turner Valley). Small towns might be more affordable. We have high Internet speeds and the towns are growing in terms of business.
“We want to capitalize on this in terms of opportunity. It’s eye-opening for those who are looking for small towns – we're growing.”
Black Diamond Mayor Ruth Goodwin said the project is further indication of the co-operation of the two communities — which are presently in the initial steps of amalgamation.
“We are supporting and implementing a strategy that is as unique as the communities for which it was created,” Goodwin said in a prepared statement. “Our two towns have a history of competing for economic and development interests. Through this collaborative approach, we aim to attract investment and interest to our region and establish a vibrant economic environment for business and residents.”