Summerside launches campaign to bring people back home

The City of Summerside has a new strategy in place to attract more people and business to the city.

'Utilizing our local ambassadors … is probably the best way to get our message across'

Summerside's Alex Clark was profiled as part of the new program. He's the co-owner of Open Eats and plans on opening a brewery in the city this year. (Submitted by Mike Thususka)

The City of Summerside has a new strategy in place to attract more people and business to the city.

The city has called its new program Homeward Bound — a sort of recruitment and retention strategy for people to live and work in Summerside — and centred it around the MySummerside website.

Mike Thususka, director of economic development for the city, says they had a similar recruitment and retention program 10 years ago but decided to refresh and rebuild after speaking with members of the business community in Summerside.

You look at the three that we profiled out of the gate for the program, they're very successful individuals, they have a passion for Summerside.— Mike Thususka

He hopes the program will attract young people to stay and work in Summerside and for expat Islanders to see "the opportunities that exist" in the city and to come home to live and work.

"Our message to local folks is we think that there is an opportunity to reach out to family, friends, sons, daughters and just share what's going on in Summerside," he said.

"If there is a desire to move back, let's have a conversation."

'They have a passion for Summerside'

Thususka said the city has invested about $2,000 into the program so far.

The strategy spotlights several Summerside business people on its website and advertisements — specifically people who decided to live and work in the city and had success doing it.

"It's our thinking that utilizing our local ambassadors … is probably the best way to get our message across," he said.

"You look at the three that we profiled out of the gate for the program, they're very successful individuals, they have a passion for Summerside."​

Thususka said they'll be sending out monthly newsletters and fine-tuning the program over the coming weeks and months.

Residents of Summerside will also soon see posters and advertisements circulating, as well as inserts in their electric bills with more information starting this week.

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