All posts by ON Regional Economic Development

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 

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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

Chairing Effective Board Meetings

Meetings are an essential part of conducting the business of any board or organization. Meetings provide the forum for discussion and making decisions on programs and initiatives. Having a structure for running meetings will minimize distractions (i.e. participants talk off topic, monopolize discussion time, have difficulty making decisions or fail to respect the contributions of others).

It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that: Continue reading Chairing Effective Board Meetings

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

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

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!

The Premier’s Award For Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program is Accepting Applications

The Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence program recognizes outstanding agriculture and agri-food related innovators including producers, processors, and agri-food organizations.

The objectives of the Premier’s Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program are to:

  • Recognize and encourage innovators in the agri-food sector
  • Foster farm-level innovation
  • Raise awareness about the importance of agri-food innovation and its impact on the Ontario economy

Submit your application by 11:59 p.m. on April 28, 2017 to be eligible for a chance to receive one of the following awards: Continue reading The Premier’s Award For Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program is Accepting Applications

Add Value to Your Agricultural Business: Learn How to Turn Your Ideas into Reality

Take the OMAFRA course, Exploring Value Added Opportunities, to learn whether adding value to your products and services is right for your business.  Register today for the March 31 workshop to be held in Sunderland, Ontario! Your registration fee includes resource materials, lunch and refreshments.

Ever wondered about turning your fruit into jam?  Ever dreamed about making gourmet ready-to-eat meals with your produce?

Take the Exploring Value Added Opportunities (EVAO) course to help you increase your profits through the creation of new products and services or value-added opportunities at your farm or food business. Our course can help you: Continue reading Add Value to Your Agricultural Business: Learn How to Turn Your Ideas into Reality

3 Lessons on Innovation from the Economic Developers Council of Ontario Annual Conference

I had the opportunity to attend the 60th annual Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) conference that took place in February. Delegates from across Ontario included economic development officers, municipal elected officials, staff from several Ontario ministries, and industry leaders representing manufacturing, business, planning, IT, and tourism.

The theme this year was Driven by Innovation. The following are my top three takeaways from the EDCO conference. Continue reading 3 Lessons on Innovation from the Economic Developers Council of Ontario Annual Conference

Analyst: Input-Output Modelling. A Closer Look.

Now that the the Input-Output Modelling tool, for Analyst, is available (read previous blog post here), it is time to take a closer look at one of the new reports, Regional Requirements.

Regional Requirements is just one of six new reports available in Analyst under the Input-Output Module. The report helps quantify the goods and services that a region requires from each industry, as well as the degree to which those requirements are met within the region.

This report can be used to perform comparative analysis of industries across the regions. It can answer questions like:

  • What value of purchases industries are making inside a region?
  • What value of purchases industries are making outside a region?
  • Where jobs are potentially leaking as a result?

This report gives the user two perspectives:

  • Region vs. Industry: what industry demands are being satisfied from within, and beyond the boundaries of a region?
  • The regional supply chain, in the broadest sense, is characterized by the industries within the region

Economic development officials can use this data to enhance their efforts accordingly.  This data can help identify and support:

  • What are all the industries in a region?
  • What industries are primarily using imports to service their needs?
  • Which industries may be able produce locally to reduce or substitute imports?
  • What jobs are need to for import substitution to be locally sustainable?

This report identifies where local demand is being sourced from and whether it is inside or outside the region.

First, identify the region(s) you want and click Run.

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A similar table to the one below will appear. Find what level of industry you need by changing the level of NAICS codes, and based on the level you can filter by that NAICS industry.

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Demand Met In-Region: amount spent on an industry by all business and population in the given region met within the regional economy

Demand Met by Imports: amount spent on an industry by all business and population in the given region met outside the regional economy

Clicking on any of the column titles will order the table in ascending/descending order to easily find the highest/lowest dollar amount or percentage.

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Moreover, selecting the Export button in the top right corner gives you the option to save your findings as an excel file.

One more blog post to come regarding Input-Output Modelling in Analyst.

For the meantime, check out this tutorial of how to navigate and use the Regional Requirements Report or click for more information on Analyst.