PEI

City of Summerside launches new online database to help businesses set up shop

The city of Summerside has launched a new online tool to help investors, entrepreneurs and business owners interested in starting or expanding a business in the city.

Database includes information on demographics, industry trends and workforce

Brian McFeely, chair of the economic development committee says the city wanted to create a 'one-stop-shop' for information people need when they consider starting a business in Summerside. (Brian McInnis/CBC)

The city of Summerside launched a new online tool to help investors, entrepreneurs and business owners interested in starting or expanding a business in the city.

The new data analysis centre launched last week and provides information about the city's demographics, infrastructure, industry trends and workforce.

Brian McFeely, chair of the economic development committee said the goal is to give anyone interested in starting a business in Summerside access to all the information they may need to make informed decisions all in one place. 

"It's a database that would be used by potential investors or people moving to Summerside," McFeely said.

'We're in the business of economic development so anything that provides information to folks to consider Summerside for investment and to create jobs in Summerside, that's the end goal and the tool is really a mechanism for them to get there,' says McFeely. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

The website includes demographic information about things such as average wages, employment rates, income levels and cost of living. McFeely said it also connects users with information about bylaws, tax rates, and incentive programs that could help new business owners get started.

"There's a pile of information in there about Summerside and a lot of analytics that describe the city and provide information to people who are considering investment in Summerside, or moving to Summerside or opening a business." 

McFeely said the city recognized a need to create a "one-stop-shop" for information, particularly data that related to local industry and business development.

"They're constantly getting requests from, you know, a variety of sectors looking for information," he said.

McFeely says database also connects potential business owners with information about municipal bylaws, incentive programs and industry trends that can help get them started. (City of Summerside)

However, McFeely said the site is not just for those interested in starting a business and he hopes anyone with an interest in finding out more about the city's economics uses the online tool as a resource.

He said the department has spent the last year compiling information from census data as well as surveys put out to local business and industry sectors. He said the department will continue to update the database with new information as needed. 

"We're in the business of economic development so anything that provides information to folks to consider Summerside for investment and to create jobs in Summerside, that's the end goal and the tool is really a mechanism for them to get there," McFeely said. 

The data analysis centre is available online through the city of Summerside website.

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