United Counties of Prescott and Russell Economic Development Director Carole Lavigne. (File photo).

UCPR surveying more businesses for strategic plan

Next week, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell’s (UCPR) economic development department is starting another round of surveys with businesses across the region—this time focused on arts and culture, manufacturing and transportation.

This round of surveys is the latest in a growing list of economic development projects undertaken by the UCPR. 

Carole Lavigne, director of economic development for the UCPR, says these surveys are the “finishing touches” of the earlier Opportunities Prescott-Russell Opportunités project.

This additional round of surveys will be done in partnership with the Prescott-Russell Community Development Corporation and will cost $33,000.

This new round of surveys will also go around the agriculture community—one of the four main sectors of the original OPRO program.

Asked why agriculture is being evaluated again, Lavigne said, “Not all municipalities have agriculture as an (economic) pillar… We want to push to get more information for the strategic plan.”

Here she’s referring to the upcoming 2019-2022 economic development strategic plan, with the survey results serving as its backbone.

Asked what some of the highlights or priorities are of the upcoming plan, Lavigne mentioned public transportation has been recurring. She also alluded to the uncertainty created by tariffs and NAFTA negotiations with the U.S.

She added, “These reports help us identify solutions for various sectors, but overall I couldn’t tell you what stands out most.”

Finally, Lavigne said the department is hoping to have results by December of January to have the new strategic plan ready for March 2019.

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