Three reasons to attend the 2017 Teeny Tiny Summit

The 2017 Teeny Tiny Summits focus on economic development in Ontario’s smallest communities. Don’t miss it!

Here’s why:

  1. Peter Kenyon. That’s right, the renowned Australian community development expert is returning to Ontario. Mr. Kenyon has worked with over 2000 communities in 59 countries. He initiated the Bank of I.D.E.A.S. (Initiatives for the Development of Enterprising Action and Strategies). He is a gripping storyteller with wisdom toKeynote-Speaker-Peter-Kenyon share from all over the world about effective community development initiatives. Mr. Kenyon will provide the keynote address to kick off the summits and spend the rest of the day with us.
    Continue reading Three reasons to attend the 2017 Teeny Tiny Summit

Input-Output Predictive Scenario Report

AnalystUsing Analyst’s Input-Output Scenario report you can predict the expected impact of a business loss or gain in your community in terms of  jobs, sales, or wages, and how that event would impact other industries regionally. It gives you the ability to “shock” an economy and measure the impacts.

It also gives you the predictive ability to see:

  • The effect of a new company locating in the local regional economy,
  • The effect of adding jobs to an existing industry sector (such as a major company expansion)
  • The effect of losing a company/losing jobs from the local regional economy

For example, if we wanted to understand the impact of an animal feed mill’s in rural Ontario. We would go through the following steps to get the information that will help us understand the impacts.

First Step: choose a region Continue reading Input-Output Predictive Scenario Report

Driving the conversation forward with youth in Perth County

Across rural Ontario, where youth out-migration to urban centres is a concerning trend; finding new ways to engage young people in their communities is increasingly important. More needs to be done to incorporate the voice of youth in local planning and development processes. 

“Youth will only return home if they feel they have left something behind”

Jacinda Rudolph of LaunchPad at Rural Ontario Summit, 2016

Perth County is one community that is making progress on this front. The county knows that the success of tomorrow’s workforce is deeply dependent on being able to stop the out-migration of its youth population, and they are taking an active approach to ensuring this trend stops.

The communities of Perth County are taking innovative steps to incorporate the voice of youth in the narrative of community development.

“Youth are important contributors to our economy and to our communities’ overall quality of life,” says Meredith Forget, Economic Development Officer for Perth County. “Youth are entrepreneurs, performers, volunteers, mentors, community leaders, employees to small businesses and consumers in our local economies. Youth have a significant impact on the vitality of their communities, and we are looking for ways to support them – in growing, learning, working and making a home in rural Ontario.”

The Perth4Youth Strategic Planning initiative is wrapping up after many months of hard work, community consultations and action planning. This initiative to date has been led by Perth County’s four lower tier municipalities and the cities of Stratford and St. Marys, with support from their respective municipal councils.

To enrich data gathering efforts for the broader Perth4Youth initiative, a unique youth focused, civic engagement process was developed and implemented. This process has brought together multiple community and educational partners to deliver a unique applied learning opportunity for students, and a medium to better express and capture the community’s youth voice. This initiative creates the opportunity to incorporate data collected by youth, for youth, into community based strategic planning.

Three energetic and motivated students from Listowel District Secondary School (LDSS) students took on this project last semester as part of their coursework in this their 4th and final year of high school.

This youth engagement pilot was designed to:

  • Engage students in their communities, and foster an appreciation for the value of civic engagement and municipal governance
  • Support students along the way in “learning by doing”
  • Gather data to inform the Perth4Youth strategic planning process and future community action to support youth.

In carrying out their in-school consultations with their peers, the LDSS student team produced: Continue reading Driving the conversation forward with youth in Perth County

Ontario Business Improvement Areas Releases Return ON Investment Report

The “first ever” report of this kind,  establishes a baseline of the economic and social contribution of Business Improvement Areas to Ontario’s communities.

The Return on Investment of Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) project was spearheaded by the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) and Toronto Area Business Improvement Association (TABIA) and funded through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MMA).

The primary goal of the year-long project was to:

  • Establish a set of common indicators for BIAs across Ontario
  • Create a pool of tools and metrics for BIAs to share their impact and analyze trends
  • Understand what is happening in Ontario’s downtowns and mainstreets
  • Outline existing gaps in the data base and how to go about filling them

The consultative process throughout the project was extensive and included a broad range of input from a full spectrum of BIAs, municipalities, and other stakeholders.

“Our goal was to provide the over 310 BIAs across Ontario with the understanding they need to manage and grow their capacity to be vital partners to their members, to their communities and to their municipalities,”

Kay Matthews, OBIAA’s Executive Director.

The ROI Report identifies that BIAs are:

  • Unique in scale and geography
  • Big on passion
  • Ground Zero for business innovation and incubation because they support small businesses

Here are some key observations from the report:

  • BIAs can drive employment, with the survey of 162 BIAs across the province highlighting BIAs that are attracting notable levels of employment to an area (increased the daytime population by over 800% in one BIA), and BIAs that account for a significant proportion (ranging from 0.2:1 to 0.9:1) of the jobs in a community.
  • An average of 6% of BIA membership represents new businesses.
  • Based on Real Estate Board data, the cost of a single family home or condominium within 500m of a BIA rose on average 46% between 2011 and 2016.
  • 75% of BIAs have a significant stock of properties that are either heritage-designated or of heritage interest.
  • BIAs produce an estimated total of 1200 events each year, and another 1300 produced by other community organizations land within the BIA boundaries.
  • Over half (55%) of reporting BIAs had members leveraging façade programs, generating an average 2.5:1 private sector to municipality investment ratio with an average of $0.17 per capita invested

Continue reading Ontario Business Improvement Areas Releases Return ON Investment Report

Cultivating the Great Claybelt

Interest in developing and expanding agriculture in northern Ontario has increased recently. Industry groups such as Beef Farmers of Ontario have pushed to expand their sectors by utilizing underdeveloped, less expensive land in the north. OMAFRA has been working hard to provide support for this initiative. Municipalities across the district of Cochrane, coalescing under the banner of the North East Community Network recently hosted a two-day conference to focus on the challenges and opportunities in the region known as the great claybelt, as well as across northern Ontario as a whole.

The conference “Cultivating the Great Claybelt” attracted more than 250 attendees to Kapuskasing in late March 2017.

Continue reading Cultivating the Great Claybelt

Updated Programming for Growing Forward 2

New cost-share funding assistance is now available for Ontario producers through Growing Forward 2 (GF2) to make their operations more energy efficient and adopt enhanced environmental agricultural practices. This support will help Ontario farmers continue to combat climate change by boosting energy efficiency on farming operations.

The four new cost-share GF2 project categories will help support environmental stewardship on farms and were announced by the governments of Ontario and Canada on March 10, 2017.

Producers will now have the opportunity to request funding support to help make changes that will deliver energy efficiency or conservation upgrades. Additionally, there is opportunity to access new funding support for approved measures to improve water quality and soil health on farms. Continue reading Updated Programming for Growing Forward 2

Attracting & Retaining Immigrant Talent in Rural Areas – Free Webinar

The workforce population is shrinking as more and more baby-boomers retire. This will result in more pressure for communities to actively attract and retain immigrant talent. 

This webinar is designed to help rural employers and communities understand how to attract newcomers.

Details
Date: Thursday, April 6
Time: 12 pm – 1 pm
To register:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/attracting-retaining-immigrant-talent-in-rural-areas

Continue reading Attracting & Retaining Immigrant Talent in Rural Areas – Free Webinar

Now Accepting Applications for the 2017 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program!

The agri-food sector has always been innovative in running businesses, adapting practices and collaborating to compete in the world economy. To help spur and to celebrate this innovative spirit, the Government of Ontario created the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program.

Have you developed and implemented a unique product or process that helps foster innovation in Ontario’s agriculture and food sector? Apply and you could be eligible to receive one of these awards:

  • Premier’s Award (one award valued at $75,000)
  • Minister’s Award (one award valued at $50,000)
  • Leaders in Innovation Awards (three awards valued at $25,000 each)
  • Provincial Awards (45 awards valued at $5,000 each)

Continue reading Now Accepting Applications for the 2017 Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program!

“How to Run a Successful Meeting” Highlights from the OSCIA Annual General Meeting

The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) is a unique non-profit farm organization that represents all commodity groups across the province. They are leaders in producer education, local association development, program delivery and consumer outreach.

On February 7th, 2017, OSCIA held a “How to Run a Successful Meeting” session in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

The purpose of this session was to learn:oscia-2

  • Ways to work with different personality types at meetings
  • How to make meetings more effective

Continue reading “How to Run a Successful Meeting” Highlights from the OSCIA Annual General Meeting