Abbotsford's Location is the Key to Future Success
Location, Location, Location. How many times have we heard this as one of the prime factors in ensuring a business success?
That said, Abbotsford's location is just perfect. "The community's going to go nuts - I'd buy land," says Chris Weinhaupl, who hails from Calgary but is part owner of RapidNet, an Abbotsford-based Internet service provider.
"There's reason the factories and warehouses are situated around the highway - because the trucks can pull of and onto the highway and can easily get to the border."
With just a few improvements, Weinhaupl notes: "(Abbotsford) is going to be kick-ass."
"We've said we're the hub of the Valley, and we really are," explains an enthusiastic Chris Smith, executive director of the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.
To the south, there's the Sumas crossing. To the north, Mission bridge giving us access to the north side of the Fraser River. And then there's the airport, he adds.
And while it's BC's fifth largest city, Abbotsford doesn't have the hectic pace of other major centres.
"It's a nice place to live, which is a huge bonus. And it's safe, pleasant city to raise a family," says Smith.
And if that's not reason enough for a business to want o start or relocated here, there's more, he points out.
There's the Mt. Lehman interchange upgrade, for one.
According to the BC Transportation Financing Authority's project directory, Doug Hyde, the project is slated to be completed by fall 2002. The Crown corporation is currently negotiating with lease holders to free up land in the proposed interchange area to allow the project to proceed.
"That (project)will improve access to the airport, and that's crucial because the airport is a waking giant - its no longer a sleeping giant," explains Smith.
For example, Westjet began flights from Abbotsford airport about three years ago and will expand in May to include three direct flights a week from here to Toronto.
Herman Driediger, Abbotsford Airport Authority's chairman, says a customs facility should be set up at the airport by this fall, allowing airlines to offer flights out of Canada.
"It all helps put Abbotsford on the map," adds Smith.
Other projects to look forward to: the city is looking to create a high-tech industry park.
As well, the chamber executive director points out, the city is in talks with Telus to make calls from Abbotsford to Vancouver no longer long-distance.