District to establish economic development society

Bill Hogan hired by the district, on a six-month contract, to oversee the creation of an economic development society.

The District of Sicamous has picked up a new pair of eyes to seek out economic opportunities.

Bill Hogan was recently hired by the district, on a six-month contract, to oversee the creation of an economic development society.

“I’m basically a portal between the mayor’s office and council and small business…,” said Hogan.

While Sicamous pays into the economic development function of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Mayor Terry Rysz said he and council felt the community needed its own stand-alone program – similar to what Golden, Revelstoke and Salmon Arm have – that would “concentrate on economic development and help support anybody that wished to come into our community; at the same time, market and try to promote Sicamous as a place to do business.”

Hogan says he will be looking to those neighbouring economic development societies to establish one that will work best for Sicamous.

“We’re going to be looking at neighbouring communities that have had a great deal of success for some help on structuring, and following in the footsteps of some of the wins they’ve had without having to necessarily reinvent the wheel,” said Hogan.

One of Hogan’s goals is to bring together and work with different people/organizations, and find ways of making great ideas reality.

“There’s a great deal of creativity, it’s a matter of finding the funding for these ideas and actually being able to complete them, as opposed to them constantly just being ideas that never see the light of day,” said Hogan.

Another focus for Hogan is to find ways to make it economically sustainable for more Sicamous businesses to be open. He also hopes to explore different concepts and ideas to revitalize Sicamous’ identity, as well as marketing what it has to offer.

“The challenge  with Sicamous is, a personal opinion, it feels a little old, it feels a little dated,” said Hogan. “I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the eagle flying over the mountain in Sicamous. But I think of having a fresh new look for Sicamous, one that’s more in line with a vision of who they want to be as a community.

“There’s an abundance of wonderful, exciting things to do in Sicamous, but the ease of access to these things or even the knowledge they exist is not all that easily ascertained.”

Hogan expects to be setting up an office somewhere downtown, though separate from the civic centre.