The Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) is receiving international recognition from an American business publication.
Site Selection, an American magazine covering “corporate real estate strategy and area economic development,” released its annual ranking of Canadian economic development groups, with the LEDC landing in the Honourable Mention category.
“We were certainly pleased,” LEDC CEO Ward Read said. “For us it’s fantastic. It’s always great to be recognized.”
At the top of the list were groups representing major capital cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. Site Selection also gave its Canadian Competitiveness Award to the province determined to best excel in business development. Quebec finished first, followed by Alberta. Ontario and British Columbia were tied for third place.
The other economic development organizations in the same category as the LEDC all represent larger urban centres, including Saskatoon, Halifax, Saint John and several southern Ontario cities like London and Mississauga.
“I’m sure Lloydminster would be probably the smallest community with the smallest staff and the smallest budget, so to me, I think it’s a big thumbs up to the work that we’ve done and the strength of the community as well,” Read said.
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“It is very nice to be put in the same category as some of those bigger communities that have had great success over the years.”
Read says part of the LEDC’s success is its ability to be flexible and make sure it is advocating for and encouraging business development which fits with Lloydminster and is responsive to meeting the community’s changing needs.
One area that Read would like to see the LEDC improve in is taking advantage of the city’s bi-provincial status. He says being able to work
with industrial development teams in both Alberta and Saskatchewan sets Lloydminster apart as a place for investment.
“That’s something that takes time and effort and ongoing relationships to keep building and growing. And if we can do that, I think we’ll have even greater success,” Read said.
“That is definitely is an advantage in that regard because we do have two sets or resources to tie into, but it does make for a little bit more of a challenge in that you have to maintain more relationships.”
Relationships are important to the LECD. He says receiving international accolades is the result of a group effort. The LECD regularly partners with organizations in the Lloydminser area to work to grow business in the region.
“If we had some success it comes certainly partly because we’ve had some support from friends, peers and colleagues,” Read said.