Ontario is providing rural communities, businesses and organizations, with funding to help attract investment, create jobs, and boost tourism, through a renewed Rural Economic Development (RED) program. The renewed program will now have two streams for applications: a Community Development Stream and a Business Development Stream. For projects to qualify under either stream, applicants must demonstrate how their project benefits rural Ontario.
The RED program is now open and will accept applications on the following dates:
October 2, 2015 to January 15, 2016;
January 16, 2016 to April 15, 2016;
April 16, 2016 to July 15, 2016;
July 16, 2016 to October 15, 2016;
October 16, 2016 to January 15, 2017.
With support from the Rural Economic Development program, rural Ontario will be better positioned to:
Attract investment and create high-value jobs as well as train and sustain a highly-skilled, knowledge-based workforce capable of succeeding in today’s global economy
Promote innovative and creative local industries that can translate ideas into products and services for a global market.
On September 24th OMAFRA Regional Economic Development Branch staff Pierrette Desrochers, Agriculture Development Advisor; Monique Legault, Manager North Region in collaboration with John O’Neil OMAFRA Planner for the north presented a workshop entitled “Growing Agriculture and Agri-Food in Northern Ontario” at the Northeastern Ontario Planning Authorities Workshop in Sudbury.
A First Impressions Community Exchange (FICE) is a structured and cost-effective process that reveals the first impression a community conveys to potential visitors, investors and new residents. The results can serve as the basis for action plans to enhance or build on community strengths and address challenges. Continue reading Overview of the First Impression Community Exchange Program→
Get to know our staff. We’ll be profiling them here so you can get to know who can help you grow your ideas.
What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch? I have the pleasure of working as an Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor out of the Brighton office in Eastern Ontario. I work with rural Eastern Ontario communities in both Northumberland and Haliburton Counties on economic development initiatives. Continue reading Staff Profile: Heather Candler→
We are always looking for ways to better connect with you. Our stakeholders have taken to social media so we thought it is time we did too. This blog is designed to keep you up to date with the latest information on how you can grow your agriculture and economic development initiatives.
I joined the Regional Economic Development Branch (REDB) in January of 2015 and have been tasked with the job of leading a team of passionate and highly knowledgeable economic development specialists and advisors across the province whom are dedicated to helping you develop and advance your plans. The training, information and tools our team can provide are designed to move your economic and agriculture development initiatives in the right direction, driving prosperity in your community.
Prior to arriving here at OMAFRA, I spent 4 years with the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI) where I was focused on helping small and medium sized businesses grow. Many of these businesses reside in rural Ontario where retaining and expanding business was critical to supporting the economic fabric in their regions. Leveraging the experience and connections I gained while with MEDEI will undoubtedly serve me well, and the Regional Economic Development Branch here at OMAFRA too.
Having only been here a short while, I have come to understand and appreciate the hard work the folks at OMAFRA do to ensure we are working to better serve clients across the province every day. Truth in the matter though, we depend on client feedback to ensure we are helping clients where they need it most. If you have suggestions, we want to hear them. If you have concerns, please let us know. I’m excited at the possibilities that lay ahead. My team has talent, expertise and passion for the work they do. When you succeed, we know we’ve done our job. To reach the advisor in your area, please visit our website.
Enjoy the blog and hope our paths cross in the near future.
Director, Regional Economic Development Branch
In spring of 2015, Regional Economic Development and Business Management Unit of OMAFRA, Harvest Hastings and the Small Business Centre delivered the ‘Starting or Growing your Food Business?‘ two-part series workshop in Stirling. Part one was ‘Exploring Value-Added Opportunities (EVAO)’ and part-two was ‘Market Considerations’. Continue reading Two ways to Explore Value-Added Opportunities→
Ontario has launched its first-ever Local Food Report, which measures the province’s progress in bringing local food to more tables across the province
In 2013, Ontario passed the Local Food Act, 2013 which aims to increase awareness of local food, nurture local food markets and foster vibrant food-based economies across the province. The Act also commits to an annual report on the province’s local food activities, goals and accomplishments. The first ever Local Food Report highlights some of the actions taken by the province and the agri-food sector to promote and celebrate local food this year, including:
Setting food literacy goals to increase the number of Ontarians who know what local foods are available, who know how and where to obtain local foods and who know how to prepare meals made with local food.
Providing a tax credit to farmers for making food donations to food banks and student nutrition programs.
Piloting a fundraising initiative that helps the province’s schools to fundraise by selling Ontario-grown fruits and vegetables to families.
Distributing more than 800,000 copies of Foodland Ontario’s local food recipe calendar in 2014.
The inaugural report will help the
province track future progress in meeting its local food goals.
Have you heard the term Community Economic Development but you’re not sure exactly what it means? It’s not simply the application of a “do this and you’ll get that” strategy but rather a process that a community can undertake to identify and use
resources to attract capital and increase physical, commercial, and business development and job opportunities for its residents. Continue reading Feedback from the Community Economic Development 101 Sessions→
Regional Economic Development Branch blog focusing on agriculture and rural economic development for Ontario