Despite dealing with a lot of economic uncertainty, the City of Fort Saskatchewan is optimistic about the future.
At a recent Chamber of Commerce luncheon, members of the city gave a development update for Fort Saskatchewan. In their presentation, they stated that despite living in somewhat uncertain economic times, the Fort is still in good shape.
The instability in the economy has many factors. With capital budget for a lot of large plants coming up dry and unemployment higher than it has been in previous years, many people are worried about where their next paycheck will come from.
"The economy is not as fast-paced and as hot as it was say in 2013-2014 but we're still here, we're still seeing positive growth numbers which is good," said Mark Morrissey, director of economic development.
The city has said that unemployment numbers are stabilizing and they have plans for 2019 to talk to local businesses about their concerns to work with them on finding solutions. One of their methods to increase communication with businesses will be the launching of their new website, investfortsask.ca.
Statistics in the presentation revealed a steady increase in the number of businesses opening up in the area and commercial construction was strong in 2018. Industrial activity was a bit low as well as a decrease in residential construction, which has been seen across the region in recent years.
The province recently announced that they are more than doubling the amount of funding available to companies that are participating in Alberta's Petrochemical Diversification Program. Morrissey said that the money should help local industry and in turn create more jobs.
"It's a general better local economy then because there is more money flowing."
The city has plans to engage the public for feedback about upcoming projects in early 2019.