The British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) is the premier professional association for economic development practitioners in the Province of British Columbia. With a membership exceeding 500 individuals from communities throughout the province, BCEDA offers a comprehensive range of services aimed at fostering the growth and expansion of businesses, attracting new investments, and driving strategic infrastructure investment, land use planning, and community enhancement.
BCEDA provides an array of services to its members, including an annual summit and networking event, educational and professional development opportunities, public relations support, advisory services, and valuable resources. Moreover, BCEDA collaborates with communities and the Province of British Columbia to effectively market the region as an ideal destination for business investments.
As a unique membership-based organization, BCEDA goes above and beyond to enhance and support all levels of government. Whether it's local, provincial, federal, Indigenous, or regional district governments, BCEDA collaborates closely to ensure that the diverse needs of each organization are met. Some of the key programs offered by BCEDA include:
Local and Indigenous Government Workshops: BCEDA has conducted over 60 specialized workshops since 2012, focused on building capacity and fostering partnerships to encourage community economic development. These workshops cover a wide range of topics, from workforce development and entrepreneurship to community infrastructure, investment attraction, and business retention. Each workshop is a full-day session conducted within the community, and participants receive a comprehensive report summarizing the day's activities. These workshops have been held throughout British Columbia, as well as in Alaska and Saskatchewan. Additionally, BCEDA has tailored workshops for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to enhance the economic development capacity of BC Indigenous communities.
Western Economic Development Course: In partnership with Indigenous Service Canada, the International Economic Development Council, the Economic Development Association of Canada, and other stakeholders, BCEDA hosts an annual four-day professional development course in Richmond, BC. This course brings together local governments and Indigenous to provide them with the tools, resources, and knowledge necessary to overcome economic challenges and pursue new opportunities.
Economic Disaster Recovery: In response to the Burns Lake Mill Explosion in 2012, BCEDA established Canada’s first the Economic Disaster Economic Resiliency and Recovery Program. With support from the Province of British Columbia and assistance from the International Economic Development Council, BCEDA collaborated with the community, stakeholders, and businesses in Burns Lake to develop an economic recovery plan. Subsequently, BCEDA was invited to refine the US Economic Recovery Framework during a planning retreat in Washington, DC, organized by the US Department of Commerce and the International Economic Development Council. Following the 2013 floods in Alberta, BCEDA also assisted the Government of Alberta and Economic Developers Alberta (EDA) in the economic recovery process for eleven communities. BCEDA provided training to EDA, enabling them to implement a similar program during the fires in Fort McMurray. BCEDA believes that supporting communities, businesses, and residents during times of disaster is crucial.
BCEDA has been involved annually in different Economic Disaster Recovery Programs in response to wildfires, flooding, and more. BCEDA actively collaborates with communities, the Red Cross, the Province of British Columbia, and other stakeholders. Membership with BCEDA is not a prerequisite for receiving assistance, as BCEDA believes in supporting all communities. BCEDA has assisted in disasters in Asia, North America (Hawaii, Ohio, California, US Mariana Islands, and more), and elsewhere in Canada.
BCEDA remains committed to providing comprehensive support and assistance to communities and businesses in British Columbia, ensuring their resilience and prosperity in the face of challenges and opportunities.
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