Business View Magazine | July 2019

285 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE JULY 2019 RURAL MUNI C I PAL I TY OF SPR INGF I ELD , MANI TOBA Springfield just completed a development plan and designated a large portion of land for business development along a major highway. The RM is blessed with plenty of available space to accommodate large manufacturing companies, and significant reserves of fresh water, thanks to two big aquifers. That and the proximity to Winnipeg are strong assets for attracting business. The town of Oakbank is currently outfitted with fiber and Springfield just joined up with the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region, as part of a feasibility study for fiber optics for municipalities around Winnipeg. According to Fell, “It’s just in the beginning stages, but we’re hoping it will make more high-speed internet readily available to businesses and residents of Springfield. And maybe bring jobs. We have a company owned by GE that manufactures component boards for trains, here. That’s one type of business that has come in and contributed to our tax base and done good things for Springfield.” Springfield has created the position of Business Development Officer to assist people wanting to expand an existing business or set up a new business and to make the process as easy as possible. The Development Officer will develop marketing initiatives to attract more businesses through trade shows, online marketing, networking, and highlighting the benefits of being in the RM. The municipality works closely with the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, as well, to create business opportunities, and is part of Community Futures Winnipeg River (one of 16 Community Futures Development Corporations in Manitoba). They have a number of programs for small businesses and entrepreneurs, to help develop business plans and provide grant funding. Springfield has a variety of housing options, including single family homes, large rural acreages, duplexes, and condos. “We have a seniors’ co-op,” says Fell, “an initiative that has been there three years, but was very forward thinking. Our development plan is now complete, so there will be some new areas for residential and business development. One of the goals of this council is