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  • Writer's pictureInvest Southeast Alberta

Business will have their say...

Press Release: September 16, 2019

From Monday, September 16 to Friday, October 4, 2019 businesses across Southeast Alberta will have their say in a comprehensive business survey that will be served online at

Invest Southeast Alberta (ISA) is a unique collaboration of business, government, and service agencies united to directly support business in the region. The partnership was first announced in June and since has engaged over 70 businesses and organizations to join what is rapidly becoming a business movement.

The movement is tagged “BREWD” for Business Retention, Expansion and Workforce Development and will allow business to identify what is and isn’t working in the City and outlying region. The purpose of the effort is the creation of a more competitive business environment that provides business the support system they need to grow and succeed.

BREWD is being launched today and all businesses are being urged to complete the survey. The more businesses that complete the survey the better the data, says Mark Keller, director of advancement at Medicine Hat College. “Extensive data will be necessary for developing a strong strategy and action plan”.

To try and ensure a minimum response rate of 10%, ISA trained over 70 community and business volunteers to personally visit over 500 businesses this week. Every businesses is encouraged to do the survey by visiting the ISA website.

The objectives of the BREWD initiative are to:

  • Accurately assess the needs of local business, including workforce challenges, and develop a corresponding action plan.

  • Provide support/information to address immediate individual business issues and opportunities.

  • Encourage, support and facilitate human resource planning and labour market adjustments for the region.

  • Enhance cooperation and consensus among businesses, government and economic development organizations.

“Helping develop our existing businesses and creating wealth and jobs is critical to the health and vitality of any community,” says Ted Clugston, Mayor City of Medicine Hat.

“The BREWD initiative has already been implemented with very good results in many countries around the globe over the last 30 years” says Sarah MacKenzie, President, Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce. “One of the reasons for its popularity is that it not only contributes to a long range plan for the community but also yields some short-range tangible results. I am very excited to hear what our businesses have to say about Medicine Hat and Southeast Alberta as a place to do business. This project will assist us, as a Chamber, to identify and focus our priorities in areas that are most important to our business community.”

“This is a chance for businesses to let their voices be heard,” says Donovan Bellamy, owner of Dynamic Industrial Solutions and partner of the ISA Leadership Team. “With the growth the City and region is seeing, now is the time for us to seize the opportunities that exist in this exciting climate. The BREWD initiative will help us do exactly that, as well as provide a venue to identify barriers that need to be addressed such as pending workforce challenges.”

According to Richard Oster, Chair of Verge Economic Development the success of ISA and projects like BREWD requires the support of a host of individuals in the city and region. “Without the dedication and commitment of many volunteers these initiatives are not possible said Richard Oster. “It relies on people, their hard work, their ability to work together, and their ingenuity in addressing business needs together”.

The balance of the BREWD process is as follows:

Business Engagement: All businesses have been mailed a letter inviting them to participate in the confidential survey, which will be launched online today, Monday, September 16th, at The survey will be available for three weeks, closing on Friday, October 4th.

Immediate Follow-up: The BREWD process allows for businesses to voice any needs and issues they have by way of a Red Flag section at the end of the survey. The BREWD Leadership Team will respond to those businesses that have identified items that require immediate attention and will provide alternatives for potential solutions.

Strategic Planning: Once the results of the survey are compiled the ISA partners will come together to form Workforce and Task Force Teams and, once again, engage the business community in a process that addresses the findings and generates concrete strategies for economic prosperity of Medicine Hat and region.

We ask the greater entire business community to work with us to foster continued growth and prosperity that will identify our community as a great place to live, work and invest. Through business, we can build a better, brighter future for everyone.

Join the Movement and Let’s get down to business!

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