Downtown Revitalization Community of Practice Sessions

For the second year in a row, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has partnered with the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) to organize and deliver three Downtown Revitalization Community of Practice sessions. These sessions are being hosted in communities that are at various stages in their downtown revitalization program. The sessions are designed to provide a balance of perspectives about the challenges and opportunities associated with launching a Downtown Revitalization initiative, developing strategies to respond to changing markets, and maintaining support over the longer term.

These one-day sessions showcase the community, and the individuals or organizations involved in the revitalization of the downtown. This includes presentations by the host community and partner organizations, facilitated discussions on downtown revitalization best practices, and networking opportunities. Community of Practice sessions are scheduled for the following dates and locations:

More information and registration details can be found on the OBIAA website. OMAFRA facilitates and coordinates resources and tools to build the capacity of rural Ontario communities for economic development. For more information on OMAFRA’s Downtown Revitalization program, visit our website or contact the Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor in your area.

Let Analyst Data Help Make Your Economic Development Decisions Easier

I’m finding that with the Olympics taking place, there is a lot of talk about global economic trends and the potential financial impacts making the rounds at the local coffee shop.  Will your community be affected?  You might be thinking “How can I get started on answering this question and still get away from the office?” Simple, book an appointment and ask Analyst, EMSI Analyst.

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The Importance of Supporting and Attracting Youth in Rural Ontario

Supporting, engaging, attracting and retaining youth in rural communities is increasingly the “talk of the town” amongst governments, communities, and concerned citizens across Ontario.

Rural communities across Ontario have been seeing a net outmigration of youth (between the ages of 15-29) for years. Much of the outmigration of youth from these communities can be attributed to a number  of factors, from opportunities for post-secondary education, to finding employment, to the variety  of amenities offered in larger urban centres. Many of these same rural communities  face challenges in providing comparable opportunities for their youth to grow and develop relative to more prosperous urban communities. Continue reading The Importance of Supporting and Attracting Youth in Rural Ontario

Staff Profile: Robert Humphrey

What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch?_DSC1591 - Robert Humphrey

As an Economic Development Specialist, my
role is to promote and lead two of the Ministry’s programs: Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) and First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE). Most importantly, my role is to help municipalities and rural stakeholders access these programs. Continue reading Staff Profile: Robert Humphrey

Need Help to Start, Manage or Grow a Food Business?

Need Help to Start, Manage or Grow a Food Business?  If so, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) offers many resources to individuals and businesses starting or growing a food processing business.

A good place to start is with the 2015 Guide To Food And Beverage Manufacturing in OntarioWhether you are new to the food industry and working on a business start-up or need assistance with the expansion of an existing operation, you will find the information in this guide and its easy-to-follow tools and templates will help you: Continue reading Need Help to Start, Manage or Grow a Food Business?

Resolving Conflict in Your Organization

Conflict is a normal and healthy part of our lives, when properly managed. We all need conflict in our lives, as it is an opportunity for us to test limits and set new boundaries. But when differences of opinion are not constructively managed, they can escalate into big problems around boardroom tables. Conflict can cause heightened emotions and board members to take sides, and a disagreement can grow into something much more difficult to resolve.  Successful conflict resolution can build trust and strengthen interpersonal relationships.

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Lasting Impressions from the Main Street Now Conference

Downtowns are back. In fact, many all over North America are thriving under the guidance of people and organizations passionate about their Main Street areas. That was the key message shared through the 2016 Main Street Now conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The annual conference brings together key private and public sector decision makers to share successes and challenges, as well as foster new ideas and solutions for preservation-based downtown revitalization.

Here are five key takeaways from the conference to consider when thinking about revitalizing your own community:

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Staff Profile: Kim Reep

kim Reep headshot

What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch? 

I am the Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor for the Niagara region. I support communities with economic development opportunities. I am often the first point of contact in the process of accessing the programs, tools and resources delivered by OMAFRA’s, Regional Economic Development Branch.

What initiatives or projects are you currently working on?

I recently participated as a panelist in a discussion about how Niagara might move forward in creating multi-level collaborations that serve agriculture and food in Niagara and beyond.

I also had the pleasure of facilitating a discussion with the Ontario cider industry that involved 32 participants from across the value chain. The session involved individual growers, the Craft Cider Association, The Apple Growers Association, researchers and the LCBO. The goal was to identify the top priorities that need to be addressed in order to enable the industry to grow.

Continue reading Staff Profile: Kim Reep

Success Story: Launch Pad – Youth Activity & Technology Centre

LaunchPad, a new Youth Activity and Technology Centre in Hanover, is a place where young people between the ages of 12 and 18 can explore the world through a wide range of activities – art, digital media, software, music, entrepreneurship, computer hardware, hands-on and just plain fun. Staff at the centre encourage the young people to see how their talents and innovative ideas can help them and their communities grow.

At LaunchPad, young people learn important skills that can improve their employability, and make new connections with employers and local leaders in their communities. The hope is that they’ll stay and work in the area after they graduate high school.

Continue reading Success Story: Launch Pad – Youth Activity & Technology Centre

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