NEW BUSINESS - Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and other local dignitaries helped Lowe’s with their offical opening on Jan. 18th. The Mayor said the opening is a strong signal of an improving local economy. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Lowe’s officially opens its doors in Red Deer

New retailer has created 128 permanent jobs

Lowe’s held their official grand opening in Red Deer and according to Mayor Tara Veer, the opening is a sign of a positive economic shift in the region.

“Certainly with the announcement of CFR this weekend; the expansion plans that came before the Municipal Planning Commission this week; and of course the grand opening of a major retailer in our community — these are all signals of confidence in our local economy and an imminent return to growth years once again,” Veer said.

The 103,600 sq. ft. building in south Red Deer comes with an initial investment from Lowe’s of $23 million, which goes towards the construction of the building, as well as the stocking of over 40,000 items. The new retailer has created 128 permanent jobs, as well as 40 seasonal jobs which will come available in the spring.

Lowe’s also began there tenure in Red Deer with a donation of $5,000 to the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter.

“Not only is it a great cause, but the team in our store decided on the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter as our charitable donation,” Store Manager Cole Cooper said. “We held a ballot and the store did the vote on it. It wasn’t the decision of the few, it was the decision of the whole.”

Cooper added the store is also given a grant annually to invest in the community.

“We will be partnering with local non-profit organizations that fit our charitable model,” he said.

Lowe’s will also annually write off labour and supplies for one non-profit’s renovations through their Lowe’s Heroes program.

Veer said a national retailer like Lowe’s arrival in Red Deer signals strong business investor confidence in Red Deer and Central Alberta. She added there are several levers the City can pull to continue economic investment in the region including having a strong position on providing serviced industrial and commercial lots; being timely on development approvals; and ensuring that residential and non-residential tax rates are competitive.

“We have one of the most favourable rates in the province. It is important to do that if we are going to provide incentives and retain existing businesses,” she said.

Cooper added, “Thank you very much to the people of Red Deer for allowing us to open our location. We are really excited to provide an option for customer service and to provide an option for home improvement.”

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

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