2020 Ontario Regional Economic Development: A Year In Review


2020 has been an incredibly unique and unforgettable year, it’s also been a great year for the ON Regional Economic Development blog website. We’ve expanded our range of topics and have enjoyed watching our follow numbers grow. Below is a recap of our most popular blogs for 2020.

1. Top Ten Impacts COVID-19 Is Having on Local Economic Development and Ways That Economic Developers Can Help – April 23, 2020

Impacts of COVID-19 on local communities has left economic developers seeking guidance on how to best respond to the outbreak and offer effective support measures. This blog post discusses a ten-point action plan for how economic developer organizations can work through a three-phase recovery.

2. Planning Principles for Creating Healthy Rural Communities – February 4, 2020

Did you know that 1 in 5 Ontario residents live in rural communities? The health of residents in these rural areas is becoming more important as the population ages. This blog post provides recommendations that municipalities can incorporate into their official plans to strive for healthier rural communities.

3. Performance Measures – Is Your Plan Working? – July 21, 2020

Every community across Ontario has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, and its effects have been felt by all businesses. Communities need to continue to develop recovery plans dependent on their own unique situation. This blog highlights a performance measurement resource developed by OMAFRA designed to help organizations identify, measure and report on the effectiveness and outcomes of their initiatives using a logic model.

4. Road to Economic Recovery Using BR+E For Rural Communities – June 23, 2020

A strong Business Retention and Expansion program can help communities understand and address prospects and issues facing their business community. Amidst the global COVID-19 outbreak, it is crucial to consider BR+E to:

  • Assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak to the local economy
  • Identify current and potential opportunities and challenges that lie ahead

This blog examines the importance of undertaking BR+E in the current environment.

A follow up blog post, Adapting Your BR+E Practices During a Crisis reviews ways in which BR+E practices can pivot to address today’s economy.

5. How to Structure an Economic Recovery Team – June 8, 2020

Economic Recovery Management Committees or Economic Recovery Taskforces provide focus and lead efforts throughout the recovery process. This post discusses best practices to consider when structuring your recovery team to best support your local business.

6. Effective Business Outreach During COVID-19 – March 26, 2020

Businesses in all sectors have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in one way or another. In order to support them effectively, economic developers will need to conduct outreach and consultation to assess these impacts and determine the needs of the businesses in their respective communities. This blog post discusses BR+E, and the ways communities can learn about issues facing local businesses to set priorities and address needs to help strengthen the economy.

7. The Importance of Collaborating to Support Economic Recovery – May 20, 2020

COVID-19 has brought along unprecedented challenges for the economy that can be difficult for individual businesses to face alone. During these unknown times, it is important for organizations to work together and collaborate to achieve effective outcomes. This post discusses how organizational development can support economic recovery through leadership and team efforts.

8. Reopening Physically-Distanced Downtowns June 18, 2020

As Ontario Transitions through the Framework of Reopening Our Province, downtowns and main street areas are required to operate in different ways than they have in the past. This blog discusses high-impact tasks that municipalities can implement in downtown areas to attract residents and boost their economic recovery.

9. Tips for Improving BR+E Business Interviews – March 10, 2020

Business Retention & Expansion (BR+E) is a structured, action-oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development. The data and knowledge obtained from business interviews is used to address issues and opportunities facing employers. This blog post discusses addressing challenges and influencing factors in BR+E projects and the importance planning the interview process ahead of time.

10. Growing in a COVID-19 WorldMay 12, 2020

As the COVID-19 situation changes daily, challenges that farmers have faced prior to the outbreak have escalated and new challenges are being presented every day. Despite these increased challenges, Ontario’s agriculture and agri-food industry has remained resilient and innovative. This blog post highlights practical tools and information, support programs and ways to work with the government to ensure the supply chain is maintained.


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