Secure a New Business within Your Community
There are a number of important actions to take when securing a new business investment. It is vital that you work to support the business through its decision-making process. These actions may include responding to investor inquiries, hosting follow-up visits, facilitating access to property and services, and providing guidance on the various regulatory and approval processes.
The level of facilitation and support required to advance the business investment will depend on nature, size, scale and complexity. The process of securing a business investment can occur over weeks, months or even years and timelines will vary depending on the opportunity.
Securing a new business checklist
The following guidelines will assist you in securing a new business investment:
Proactive and Timely Follow-up
After you have hosted an investor, proactive and timely follow-up is important:
- A “Thank You” letter or email to the prospective investor within 48 hours of their visit
- List of issues, items and actions that require follow-up
- Connect the prospective investor directly with local representatives responsible for specific follow-up actions
- Regular follow-ups with local representatives to ensure that inquiries and issues are addressed
Facilitate Access to Property, Resources and Local Suppliers
While it is clearly the prospective investor's responsibility to secure their own arrangements with vendors of property, buildings, equipment and furnishings, your community can assist this process by:
- Making appropriate introductions and referrals
- Providing access to some of the community’s own property or building space through lease and/or sale arrangements, if appropriate
- Providing information or contacts related to the availability of key resources such as skilled labour, supplies, utilities, and various types of service providers
Incentives and Supports
Incentives and supports can assist in the establishment of business and investment in your community. These supports occur at all levels of government and can be in the form of grant and credit programs, training programs, and rebate and financing programs. Other forms of incentives and supports include:
- Infrastructure improvements, such as road access and utility services to an existing unserviced site
- Provision of temporary office facilities, if required, during the initial implementation period
- Engaging with the community to maintain positive support for the project
Customized Incentive Package
Working closely with municipal, provincial and federal officials, you can present a comprehensive package of potential incentives, such as:
- Incentives for machinery and equipment investment
- International Business Activity Program
- Film production tax credits
- Eligible business corporation and venture capital corporation tax credits
- Small business venture capital tax credit
- BC Hydro PowerSmart rebates and programs
Navigation Approval Process
There are a number of approval processes a new business must work through before they can become fully operational in your community. The required approvals and associated timelines will vary depending on the business type, nature and scope.
Local community representatives are expected to assume an advisory and facilitation role to assist with the required approvals and provide guidance on the processes in place.
Depending on the complexity and scale of the business, the community may wish to recommend that the investor assemble a team of key experts or contractors familiar with B.C. laws and practices, such as First Nations specialists, legal counsel, engineers and environmental consultants.
A few common examples of permits, licenses, applications and regulations include:
- Rezoning applications and the rezoning process
- Building permit applications
- Business licenses
- Environmental approvals
- Meeting health and safety regulations
- Adhering to employment standards regulations
- Meeting local fire department and building code regulations
Assistance with Relocation
In the event that the investor and/or senior management staff are required to relocate to your community, it is important to provide appropriate assistance, including the following:
- Information regarding work permits and visas for immigrant staff and their spouses
- Assistance in finding housing and schools
- Introductions to key local services, such as banking, legal services, accounting services, and real estate brokers
- Information on business protocols and licensing requirements
Coordination of Media and Public Communications
It may be necessary to communicate publicly at certain points during the business implementation process. Proactive and consistent communication with your community members is critical in gaining support, building consensus and helping to foster the success of the new business investment.
It may also be appropriate to plan a grand opening event or other launch activity to mark the commencement of the new business operation within your community. The event can be used to showcase the successful implementation of the business operation and highlight the benefits to the community, such as employment. The event may also assist in enhancing community support and goodwill towards the new business.
Initiate a Business Retention and Expansion Program
A thorough and successful Business Retention and Expansion program is critical to the success of new and existing businesses within your community. New businesses are often great promoters of your community’s business attraction efforts and can play a critical role in your future economic development endeavors. Find more information in our Business Retention and Expansion tool.