Community Futures Nicola Valley added another tool to the community’s economic development “tool-kit” this week with the release of their Business Development Guide for Merritt and the Nicola Valley, said CFNV general manager Rob Miller.

The 22-page guide, which is geared towards immigrant investors and new and expanding businesses, contains listings of relevant programs, services, regulations and contacts.

Miller describes the new guide as a “one window document” that provides a road map for navigating the often confusing local, regional, provincial and federal services and regulations.

“The reality is when people are looking to start or expand their business there is a steep learning curve,” said Miller during a press conference. “We’ve tried to streamline information to a single source.

Hard copies of the new business development guide will be available at key promotional agencies including CFNV and the Merritt and District Chamber of Commerce. A PDF version of the document will also be available for download through the new web-portal – – as well as other partner websites.

Jen Eaton, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said the guide is a huge incentive to do business in the Nicola Valley.

“From a business person’s perspective, I requested this information and it would have saved me hours of research [if I had this guide],” said Eaton who used to own Country Bug Books.

With many small businesses located in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s rural areas as well, Area “M” Director Randy Murray said that benefits would extend beyond the city boundaries.

Murray said people seem to be making business decisions quickly and added that the new guide will make sure that investors don’t pass the community by.

“To have a guide like this for people relocating is a real leg up,” he said. “This is something that didn’t exist in our area.”

Miller said when he arrived in Merritt last year, it seemed like there was an immediate need to gather all the relevant information into one place. He said he committed to producing an economic guide, which was something he had also produced in Golden, B.C. where he worked previously in economic development.

“Our guide was absolutely well received in Golden,” Miller said.

The guide, which was released online on Monday, is simply designed with few photographs and straightforward information. Miller said this simple design was on purpose.

“This document isn’t overly lipsticked, because we’re focusing on the content,” he said.

Miller said that the City of Merritt was invited to participate in the guide, but as of Thursday, CFNV had not had any response.