Cumberland is looking to a new web portal to help tell its story and attract new business.
The village’s economic development officer, Kaelin Chambers, unveiled the current version of the new website to council at a recent committee meeting. He was joined by Jennifer Rollins and Craig van der Merwe of the Update Company, which helped develop the site.
While the project started as a promotional tool, the portal is designed to offer more ways to help people interested in setting up businesses get more information about the community and how to do business or invest there.
“This is inviting the world to see us,” Chambers said. “It’s really focused on doing business in Cumberland.”
The site includes photographs by a local photographer. It is broken into two main sections, with one geared toward setting up a business and the other toward investing. There will also be features on local businesses, as well as background to the community including its history.
“We’re trying to capture a little bit of the feel of the community,” he said. “We start to talk about why Cumberland is different.”
Council members approved of the new site, its look and how it functions. Coun. Gwyn Sproule said she was ‘almost speechless’ and described the site as really capturing what the community is about.
Similarly, Coun. Sean Sullivan said, “It definitely shows that Cumberland is pretty well prepared for the future.”
The portal has not yet gone live, though the developers and the village are fine-tuning for a soft launch.
‘Things are getting close,” Chambers said.
The portal was one of the main projects identified in the community’s economic development strategy. This was supported at the outset with money in 2019 from the BC Rural Dividend Fund.
At the same meeting, corporate officer Rachel Parker went over recent changes to the village’s own website. Unlike the new web portal, the site is aimed first at locals, though it will be linked with the new business site.
Parker outlined some of the updates, which include changing the ‘Welcome’ message and the navigability of the site. The main subject areas are listed near the top in reverse type on a black bar. The site is also easier for the village to update, especially around information like seasonal events.
“Hopefully, that’ll help people find things they need,” she said.
Coun. Vickey Brown said the biggest complaints had been around the site’s searchability and that the new headers on the site should help. Other council members also approved of the site’s new look and design.
“You’ve made it more user-friendly,” Coun. Jesse Ketler said.
Parker responded that there is still work to be done, including adapting the site for hand-held devices.