Investing in a Better Life

Town of Beaumont

It could be said that Beaumont is not your typical Albertan town. While most small farming towns centralized their growth along rail lines and grain elevators in the 1890s, Beaumont’s focus was on nurturing and establishing its French presence in the community.

With ten acres purchased in 1894 from the Hudson’s Bay Company and an additional twenty donated by a founding resident, it wasn’t long before the town of Beaumont took root, proudly showcasing its French heritage. Today, the town is a thriving community within the Albertan landscape.

Incorporated in 1973, the town of Beaumont has grown to a population of close to 15,000 and currently is the seventh fastest growing community in Canada, with a population growth of over forty eight percent between 2006 and 2011 (federal census). Beaumont, or its French translation, “beautiful hill,” situated three kilometres southeast of Edmonton, is one of three official bilingual municipalities in Alberta, the other two being Legal (35 kilometres north of Edmonton) and Falher (420 kilometres northwest of Edmonton).

Encouraging continued growth is paramount to Beaumont’s vision of the future. Mayor Camille Bérubé was born and raised in Beaumont, and his family was one of the founding families for the town, so he shares his deep roots and an affinity for this place he calls home.

“Growth is welcome,” he says. “We want to encourage support and enable development to occur in a culture of cooperation. We recognize the importance of communicating clearly with those who wish to invest in Beaumont,” he says. “We have ongoing information sessions with developers, builders and realtors who are active in the community… it gives us an opportunity to network and meet face to face with the people that are on the ground promoting Beaumont.”

Mayor Bérubé indicates that there are two economic development goals for his town: one is to move Beaumont’s current residential and non-residential tax base toward a higher ratio of 80:20, from its current 95:5 residential / commercial. There are also a number of initiatives relating to business development, he indicates. “If there are requests for new businesses to establish in Beaumont, they become top of the priority list.”

The Mayor suggests that land availability is indicated on the town website and that they’ve gone with direct contacts focusing on a variety of business opportunities “that we may be looking for that may fit into the niche market study,” initiated in 2011. The goal is to increase the number of storefront businesses as well as to increase the value of commercial / industrial building permits and project values. This all subsequently creates new jobs and enhances overall economic development.

The other goal is the redevelopment of Centreville, Beaumont’s downtown core, to make it more attractive through improvements, special activities and incentives for businesses. “Centreville is the historic heart of our community,” says Mayor Bérubé. With its French Village theme including mixed use development, unique architecture such as dormers, canopies and pedestrian friendly sidewalks, Centreville is located on over two acres of land along a major highway, and is classified as a mixed-use district, providing commercial, office and residential development. “It’s good to go,” says the Mayor. “There are lots of opportunities to build in the downtown… diversification of our local economy makes sense from an economical structure and also from a tax base because we need to be strong for the long term.”

Buying local

The Mayor notes that in January 2014, Beaumont’s Business Association became the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s role, as an advocate for businesses in the town, is to assist with programs and services that encourage business growth. The Beaumont Chamber of Commerce is, “a stronger voice as far as representation at a local level within the region; even provincially and nationally,” says Mayor Bérubé.

Independent businesses benefit from their proximity to the Capital Region, and Shop Local initiatives act as reminders of the unique business offerings in the immediate area. “Shop Local initiatives remind people of the assets of the businesses in our community and the products and services that these businesses can offer,” adds Mayor Bérubé.

Recently, Beaumont’s Chamber of Commerce released its ‘Shop Local’ campaign in an effort to instil recognition that shopping local not only helps businesses but the community as a whole; and businesses supporting businesses are important drivers to community economic health as well. “Community involvement and investment sets many of our businesses apart from those in other centres. Businesses see the value of engaging with residents and the community itself through their participation in things like community events, shop local programs and volunteerism.”

The advantage of location

With its close proximity to south end Edmonton, Edmonton International Airport and the Queen Elizabeth II highway (Alberta’s major north-south artery), “our location definitely contributes to Beaumont’s growth in all sectors,” says the Mayor. “We’re part of the capital region, so if someone in our region gains, the whole capital region gains as well. The capital region is leading nationally in the economy.”

Nearby Industrial Parks such as Leduc-Nisku, Heartland and Acheson, located in the region, offer employment for many of Beaumont’s residents, “so it contributes to the household income in our communities. Billions of dollars have been invested in those areas in recent years, so they’re definitely key drivers to the regional economy.”

Mayor Bérubé adds that Beaumont participates with the Leduc-Nisku Economic Development Association which represents the region at the international level and, he says, “they work with us in attracting new businesses to Beaumont and promoting the communities that they serve.”

Top 100

Beaumont continues to strive to be recognized among the Top 100 Employers in Canada. This annual competition determines the best places in Canada to work and the town is currently shortlisted in the Top 300. Employers are judged on their leadership abilities in selected industries with a comparative analysis of similar organizations in terms of progressive, innovative programs.

Speaking about achieving the Top 100 designation, Mayor Bérubé says, “Excellence is one of the core values that the town of Beaumont wishes to pursue. We also know that it’s a common value for many of our residents, so it becomes very much a motivating factor for our community organization to perform to the best that we can.” This recognition is something Beaumont continuously strives toward. “Even if achieving the top recognition is a long term goal, knowing and implementing some of the trends, some of the benchmarks that are set for some of the top hundred employers, I think makes us better employers and also a better community.”

Reflecting on this sense of place, the Mayor asserts that, “We’re very proud of the francophone heritage. Our residents have asked us to do more to make sure that we preserve the small town feel and community identity that we have.”

As for Beaumont’s future, he concludes, “Beaumont will continue to grow at an above average rate… the economy in the region is firing on all cylinders. With high family incomes and a young average age, the town is a highly desirable place for new businesses to locate. If someone is looking for investing commercially in a community, Beaumont is a good place to consider. We continue to work on our slogan, ‘Life is better in Beaumont.’”

For more information about the Town of Beaumont, please visit http://www.town.beaumont.ab.ca/

October 20, 2017, 2:03 PM EDT

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