Economic Development Strategy
The Town of Oliver kicked off a project with local business partners, residents, the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce, Oliver Tourism Association, Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association, and other partners to develop a Local Economic Development Strategy.
What we’ve done and where we’re going
Over the past nine months we’ve been working to engage business owners, residents, students, and other stakeholders to create a roadmap to improve our local economy. With their help, we’ve completed the Grow Oliver! Local Economic Development Strategy.
COVID-19 emerged as the final draft was being prepared. In response, we have updated actions and priorities within Grow Oliver to reflect the impacts of COVID-19 on Oliver’s economy, while ensuring support is in place for a post-pandemic recovery of local businesses and jobs.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to Grow Oliver!
The following Quick Start Actions, outlined in Grow Oliver have been identified as “quick start” actions to be undertaken over the next 1-12 months
- Grow Oliver Committee. Establishing a working group with representation from all key economic development and planning groups and organizations with an interest in community economic development. This group will be an expanded and renamed Downtown Advisory Committee that was established to support Downtown revitalization.
- Dedicated Grow Oliver Coordinator. A dedicated, part-time staff person to carry out and support Grow Oliver actions. The South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce may support this position.
- Grow Oliver Business “Seed Package.” An information guide on local permitting and regulations and contact information for to support business attraction and retention.
- Oliver Support Local Campaign. A campaign to promote benefits of local businesses and highlight ways to support the local economy.
- Downtown Oliver Development Opportunities Study. A design exploration of new uses for vacant Town-owned lots in Downtown Oliver.
Want to get Involved?
Look for the Support Local decal in store windows. Supporting local businesses and services is crucial in these times of COVID-19 economic recovery and Oliver’s long-term revitalization.
Start filling out your Support Local Bingo card! This can be picked up at the Town Hall.
Invite Your Friends and family to visit Oliver (when safe to do so)!
Volunteer! Join one of Oliver’s many groups or organizations that are doing great work for the community.
For more information on Grow Oliver and next steps, talk to the Town of Oliver, the South Okanagan Chamber of commerce, or the Oliver Tourism Association.
At the heart of Grow Oliver are eight objectives that were developed based on feedback from project participants and stakeholders. The objectives identify what we hope our strategy will help achieve.
- Create an attractive and vibrant Downtown
- Support and grow local businesses
- Attract investment and jobs
- Create local benefits and regional tourism
- Encourage affordable housing and commercial spaces
- Foster a robust and resilient local economy
- Promote innovation and a green local economy
- Strengthen relationships with regional partners
These objectives guided the development of three interconnected Strategy Areas and 19 supporting Actions (programs, projects, policies, etc.) that will help Oliver grow in the ways that the community wants to see. You can view all of these Actions in the draft Grow Oliver document.
Each Strategy Area is made up phased economic development Actions which will be rolled out over the next one to three years.
Strategy Area 1: Consolidate our Foundation
The fundamentals that need to be in place in order to grow the economic development Strategy.
Strategy Area 2: Strengthen our Heart
Strengthening Oliver from the inside-out.
Strategy Area 3: Grow our Opportunities
Expanding our appeal and collaboration with regional partners
Grow Oliver has its roots in the Town’s 2016 Official Community Plan which identified the need for a coordinated and strategic approach to economic development in Oliver. The plan also highlighted the need to support and revitalize Downtown Oliver, the historic and cultural heart of the community. This work was followed in 2017 with the production of a Downtown Action Plan for Oliver. This plan outlined 11 phased and prioritized actions organized under three inter-related strategy areas: Strategic Capacity; Business Support and Attraction; and Development. An Economic Development Strategy was one of the actions identified in this plan.