10/04/2011 12:18 EDT | Updated 12/04/2011 05:12 EST

Online site unites northwestern B.C. communities searching for investors

VANCOUVER - Eleven communities or regions across northwestern British Columbia are wooing online investors with the launch of Invest Northwest BC.

The website, at investnorthwestbc.ca, aims to connect potential investors with an estimated $15 billion in projects planned over the huge area from Dease Lake south to Smithers, Kitimat and Haida Gwaii.

Detailed profiles for each community or region offer specifics on everything from population to payroll costs, utilities, taxation and government services.

The site outlines mega-projects such as BC Hydro's 344 kilometre Northwest Transmission Line or a proposed $4.5 billion liquefied natural gas terminal in Kitimat, while also describing more modest business opportunities across the region.

The web portal was developed in partnership with Northern Development Initiative Trust, an independent regional economic development corporation created by the B.C. government six years ago.

Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan says the area's unified support of Invest Northwest BC creates the potential to move the northwest sector toward an era of long-term economic prosperity.