A group of business interests representing forty-one merchants, hotels and sawmills formed the Yellowhead Highway Association. Arthur E. C. Read, the postmaster and general store and lodge operator at Longworth, was elected as first president. He served in that capacity for nine years until 1945. The Association's initial purpose was to promote completion of the highway from Prince George to the Alberta border. The completion of the road was integral to economic development and the growth of tourism within the region. Lack of money during the Depression years and other provincial priorities pushed back highway completion in favour of other projects. The Yellowhead Highway was officially opened May 15, 1949 and designated part of the Trans-Canada Highway in 1986.
As part of government-sponsored works programs, low rental housing projects created employment and provided much-needed accommodation. One such project was undertaken in what had been a shopping district for the Millar Addition area. It fell to City Council to choose a new commercial area for the shopping district. The choice was initially kept secret except for the announcement that the new area had been selected, and that "the exact location will be revealed at a later date."
Cariboo Riding M.P. John Fraser explained the philosophy of Prime Minister Bennett's approach to righting the country's faltering economy. Basic to conservative political philosophy was an abhorrence of government interference in business or in social welfare. Relief legislation that was passed by the federal government was intended to provide employment opportunities, rather than create a welfare-type dependency. The other strategy being employed was the institution of preferential tariffs; this proved to be of little help for the declining export market.