A new initiative aimed at attracting newcomers to Lunenburg and Queens County was launched last week in Liverpool. Whyhere.ca is aimed at providing a one stop shop for people interested in learning about the area.
Whyhere.ca is a new initiative by the Lunenburg Queens Regional Development Agency aimed at providing information to people looking to start a business, move or visit the two counties.
"We needed this a year ago," says Andrew Button, executive director of the Lunenburg Queens Regional Development Agency (LQRDA).
Button shared a story about how a businessperson was looking for more information about the area, and had many questions about what there actually was in the two counties. Not only was this person looking for commercial space, they also wanted to know what services were available and what there was to do in the area. It took several days of calling and researching to gather the answers to all of the questions.
The roots of the website come out of wanting someplace where all that information was at the tips of someone's fingertips.
"The think I think will make this site come alive is the mapping site and the videos," says Button.
The site focuses on the three main elements when people are looking at the area: why do business here, why live here and why visit here.
"Doing business here" provides tools for businesses looking for more information about the business culture of the counties. It provides links to commercial space, statistics on the areas and a directory of already existing businesses. The directory can also be accessed through an interactive map created using tools from Google Maps.
The interactive map isn't about giving comprehensive information on a business. Instead it gives an overview of what the business does and their contact information. The map also shows a wealth of locations for people looking to move or even just visit the area.
Button says it was a huge undertaking to get the list compiled, with over 4,000 records to sort through and verify. He adds there are still businesses and assets in the area that were likely missed, but they can be easily added by contacting the LQRDA.
"Living here" provides resources for people who are looking to move to the area, whether it is from immigration or other parts of Canada.
Finally "Visiting Here" brings together all of the events, attractions and things to do in the two counties under one category.
"We cannot forget visitors are potential developers, potential business owners and potential investors," said Button.
All that information is great, says Button, but some of the best information comes out of the stories from those who live here. A whole section is devoted to short videos of people talking about why they do business, live or visit the area.
Several businesses from Queens County are featured in the video as well. Kevin and Debbie Page from Page Financial speak about why they chose to live and work in Queens; Tanya Long from Veinot's Print talks about her decision to return home after many years away; and Jeff Walker of Walker Dance talks about his decision to move to the area and starting his own business.
"The why here videos really capture those compelling stories," says Button.
He says though they have three different categories for the videos, many of the stories blend elements from all three into their narratives.
The videos were created by The Picture House, based out of Greenfield, and CBI Films out of Mahone Bay.
The LQRDA has been working with a wide variety of groups on this project, including municipalities and Chambers of Commerce. Button says the idea is not to create the same product or promotion strategy over and over again in each area, but rather to draw off of each other's resources to make one strong attraction strategy to the area. Some of the work in Queens County includes the Attraction strategy, which is being done through a partnership between the Region of Queens and the South Queens Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber's own Events Liverpool project.
The Events Liverpool Project will be presented as part of the Chamber's annual general meeting on June 25.