In April the City of Merritt created a B.C. PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Pilot Committee.
The purpose of the BC PNP Committee is to review and make referrals to the Province regarding the applications of entrepreneurs seeking to immigrate to Canada and establish businesses in Merritt as part of the BC PNP Entrepreneur Immigration Pilot.
As of August 6, 2019, the City of Merritt has received 188 inquiries from foreign entrepreneurs and immigration consulting companies looking to open a business in Merritt.
The City of Merritt, along with community partners, has hosted nine community exploratory visits. There are an additional 13 foreign entrepreneurs who have submitted the required documents and have their exploratory trips planned during 2019.
The committee has provided letters of referral to the province for five entrepreneurs. The businesses fall into two categories; truck transportation and store retailers. The retailers are proposing a gift shop, office supplies store and a sewing machine shop.
The entrepreneurs still need to receive approval from the province before they can open up shop.
Will George, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism, mentioned how the provincial approval could take upwards of one-year. He also mentioned that while Merritt has referred five entrepreneurs the rest of the province has only moved 20 up the chain.
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