News City looks to bolster business attraction with new strategy SHARE ON: Shannon Waters, contributor, Thursday, Oct. 13th, 2016 Bringing new business to the city is something the City of Prince George is focusing on. They’re about to review a draft Business Attraction Strategy that would begin implementation next year. But it looks like things are already moving in the right direction, with inquiries about business investment up this year. “Year to date in 2016, we’ve had 46 total inquiries that we’ve been able to track,” says Economic Development Officer Keenan Hopson. “In 2015, we had 42 total. Out of the 46 in 2016, there’s been 32 prospects and we consider prospects to be serious inquiries.” The draft strategy suggests several key sectors for the city to consider when it comes to bringing in new business. “They’ve given us a couple of key opportunities that they think that we should focus on. They’re forestry innovation, engineered wood products, green data centres and perishable food products.” Prince George could have an edge when it comes to data centres, due to lower year round temperatures. “Forestry innovation and engineered wood products – they’re trying to capitalize on missed opportunities that are currently just waste wood. So they’re capitalizing on existing opportunities. Forestry innovation could be the ‘Internet of Things’ and developing new technology to more efficiently harvest logs.” More efficient harvesting could make a difference if the US decides to begin applying duties to Canadian lumber products. Hopson says Wood Innovation and Design Centre is a prime example of the possibilities for engineered wood products and could serve as a great demonstration for potential investors. The review of the draft strategy should be complete by the end of the month with a final version to begin implementation next year.