3 Emerging Themes Economic Developers Should Pay Attention To

Economic developers are faced with a constantly changing environment as industry changes before our very eyes; the needs of yesterday are not and will not be the needs of tomorrow. The EDAC 2017 Conference highlighted three themes that can help economic developers stay relevant. If understood and utilized, these themes can help  economic developers capitalize on the opportunities they present when planning for future community and economic needs.

1: Talent

Many conversations around the conference focused on the need to nurture talent in order to retain and/or attract business. As noted in the Mississauga Life Sciences Sector Strategy presentation, talent is a key linkage that is critical to success across all sectors, whether that sector is industry, academia, or government. Positioning Mississauga as a desirable place to live and work was essential component to grow the life science sector to be the second largest in Canada. Attracting labour is not enough. How talent and careers are developed in our communities also plays a role. This point was highlighted by Jeremy Bout of Edge Factor who has created a suite of educational tools for youth, educators and industry who stated that we must “Be relevant, have a palpable story to relate to” when it comes to informing youth about the opportunities of tomorrow.  Put simply we must “Promote careers, not jobs.” Ultimately, talent will be critical to meet the business realities of the future.

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STAFF PROFILE: DAVID TRIVERS

  • What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch? 

I am an Agriculture Development Advisor (ADA) working out of the Thessalon satellite office as part of the North Region team. I cover the District of Algoma which includes the North shore of Lake Huron, the St Mary’s River (including St. Joseph Island) and the East shore of Lake Superior. Less than 10% of the District’s land area is privately owned. The privately owned land is concentrated near highways running along the southern and western boundaries of the District. Continue reading STAFF PROFILE: DAVID TRIVERS

Understanding the Benefits of a Downtown Revitalization Program

Continuing with our series of blogs on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Downtown Revitalization Program, this entry will take a look at the potential benefits and impacts of a revitalization program.

Downtown Revitalization (DR) can be costly and time-consuming, with positive impacts emerging only over the longer-term. As the figure from the DR Coordinator’s Manual shows, economic impacts are not expected until the medium-term in a downtown revitalization program, with new market trends (e.g. e-commerce) necessitating a long-term commitment to ensure sustainability. Though time frames remain a key challenge, downtown revitalization programs also contend with the perception that their benefits are “local” to the downtown area, rather than the broader community.dr blog

Continue reading Understanding the Benefits of a Downtown Revitalization Program

Tourism Industry Groups Now Available in Analyst

In many rural Ontario communities, tourism plays a significant role in the business and employment sectors; we know this via feedback from our clients and in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) on Analyst-related projects.

With these factors in mind, we continue to adjust Analyst to better meet the needs of our clients. As a result both Regional Tourism Organizations (RTO) and tourism industry pre-generated groups are now available within the tool. Continue reading Tourism Industry Groups Now Available in Analyst

Growing Agriculture with Northern Ontario Community Pastures

There are six community pastures located across northern Ontario. Partnerships between organizations and the provincial government were instrumental in the formation of the pastures. In the early 2000’s the Association of Community Pastures (ACP) was created and they subsequently ownership of some of these pastures. The pastures are available for farmers to rent for the summer, allowing them to increase their herd by providing extra grazing opportunities. Community pastures are also used as sites for research and information workshops.

Economic benefits of community pastures

Since the first community pasture was established in the early 1960’s, they have come to provide a source of economic benefit to the communities where they are located. To see what kind of overall benefit community pastures have for the northern Ontario, data was collected for all six of the pastures in 2016.

Charges for using the pasture is done in one of two ways; either a flat rate per animal/animal pairs for the season, or a per-day rate. Table 1 shows the number of animals at each location and the rental rates charged in 2016.

It is clear that there is consistent positive revenue being generated by the northern community pastures. Overall the pastures benefit communities by providing jobs and allowing farmers an opportunity to increase the livestock they raise and subsequently increase their revenues.

Table 2 highlights the overall financial impact of the community pastures in 2016 (based on the assumption that the sale of Cow/Calf pairs and bulls to be $1200 and sale of yearlings to be $1500), which also generates jobs, and benefits the local economy.

In summary, community pastures demonstrate economic benefits by contributing to local research, and positively impacting the economy though the generation of profit from hosting the cattle on pasture, generating jobs, and increasing a farmers revenue opportunities.

Table 1

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Table 2 

 

 

 

 

 

Authored by Barry Potter and Kaitlyn Schenk

 

 

Rural Ontario Leaders Awards Launch

Rural communities are an essential part of our cultural and economic fabric and our government is committed to ensuring they remain vibrant places where our children can learn, grow, work and play. That’s why our government is launching the Rural Ontario Leaders Awards, to help celebrate the achievements of those who are dedicated to helping improve the quality of life and economic development of rural Ontario. Continue reading Rural Ontario Leaders Awards Launch

Intake 2 of the Rural Economic Development Program is Open for Applications

The Rural Economic Development (RED) program helps rural communities remove barriers to community economic development, through support for planning and implementation projects that benefit rural Ontario.

The program is now open and will accept applications until September 29, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern).

As part of continuous improvement, several minor changes have been made to the RED program guidelines and application since the closure of the first intake: Continue reading Intake 2 of the Rural Economic Development Program is Open for Applications

Teeny Tiny Summits Create a Big Impact!

Small communities have particular needs and assets when it comes to building strong economies. This was the topic of conversation at the June 28-29 Teeny Tiny Summits, which drew over 200 volunteers, staff, local councillors, and support organizations.

Participants were treated to an inspiring dialogue with keynote speaker Peter Kenyon, a social capitalist and community enthusiast. Over the last four decades, Peter has worked with more than 2000 communities all over the world seeking to facilitate fresh and creative ways that stimulate community and local economic renewal. Continue reading Teeny Tiny Summits Create a Big Impact!

Budgeting for Downtown Revitalization?

Continuing with our series of blogs on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ (OMAFRA) Downtown Revitalization Program (DR), this entry will take a look at the estimated costs a community could expect to incur, and strategies to manage the cost of the initiative.

Like all economic development activities, downtown revitalization is a long-term and ongoing process. OMAFRA’s DR program is a comprehensive four-stage process aimed at moving from foundational strategic directions and actions to tangible results in a two to three year timeframe. The first year is largely focused on the development of a strategic plan and actions for downtown revitalization. An additional one to two years is a realistic expectation for the community to see initial outcomes, monitor progress, and start making strategic adjustments as needed. This process is expected to generate two types of costs: Continue reading Budgeting for Downtown Revitalization?