The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) announced the launch of the Digital Main Street Grant Program.
The Digital Main Street Grants Program provides funding to qualifying small “main street” businesses and community business groups to enhance their online promotion, selling and operations. It will help businesses adapt to the digital economy with new technologies from e-commerce to social media platforms. Digital Main Street not only aims to strengthen rural communities but also help local small businesses embrace new technologies that will expand their digital capabilities and increase their competitiveness.
Continue reading Digital Main Street Launches Grant Program
Continuing with our series of blogs on the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Business Retention & Expansion (BR+E) Program, this blog will outline the first two stages of the BR+E process.
The four stages of the BR+E process are:
- Collect and Analyze
- Develop Goals and Action Plans
- Implement and Monitor
BR+E Stage I – Preparation
Step 1: Assess Community Readiness
Community leaders should work with a Provincial Staff Advisor to determine if BR+E is the right project for the community, and assess the community’s readiness for the project.
Check out our previous post, 6 Reasons Why Your Community Should Undertake a BR+E to understand the advantages of a BR+E project. Continue reading Discover the Advantage of Thorough Preparation and Data Collection for a Successful BR+E
The 10thannual Municipal Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Forum is being held October 3 and 4th, hosted by the County of Wellington and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Explore Wellington County on a bus tour on October 3rd, with local food lunch and dinner included. Learn about different agriculture-related businesses and how you can support similar agriculture activities in your region.
Tour locations include:
- Angelstone International Show Jumping Tournaments
- Rootham Gourmet Preserves
- Strom’s Farm and Bakery
- Mapleton’s Organic Dairy
- Elora Brewing Company
On October 4th, take in a full day of local food, networking and learning. Join us for speakers and panel presentations highlighting best practices from practitioners in Wellington County and beyond. Continue reading How prepared are you when Navigating the Agricultural Economy?
The most important thing a Business Retention & Expansion (BR+E) project does is build capacity. BR+E is strategically designed to take existing community resources and employ’s its community businesses to help them come together with a plan for the future. 1
Whether you are an economic developer, a chamber of commerce, a local government official, or an interested citizen who wants to improve and ensure economic growth in your area, a BR+E project may be right for you.2 Continue reading 6 Reasons Why Your Community Should Undertake a BR+E Project
The 7th Teeny Tiny Summit attracted its largest audience ever when the Municipality of Tweed hosted the summit earlier this summer. The first Teeny Tiny Summit was held in 2015, as the OMAFRAs East Region Economic Development staff wanted to support their smallest communities. These communities had several features in common…they were typically small, rural, with limited staff and resources, and little or no perceived economic development capacity and activity.
This year’s theme was ‘Creating our Future, Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary’ and was supported by the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) and the North and Central Hastings Community Futures Development Corporation. This year’s event covered four key topics that aimed to inspire others. Speakers shared their real-life examples of community volunteer involvement, strategic planning, telling personal stories and the importance of municipal-volunteer relationships. Continue reading Teeny Tiny Summit with a Great Big Reach
On August 16, 2018, participants had the opportunity to hear from four presenters about how communities can support the transition of farm businesses during the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice webinar.
Mark Ferguson of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ Business Development Branch began the session with a definition of succession planning.
Succession planning as a process that occurs over time during which a family plans for the transfer of knowledge, skills, labour, management, control and ownership of the farm business between the founder (retiring) generation and the successor (next) generation.
He went on to share why some producers are not planning for succession including: Continue reading Key takeaways from the Succession Planning Community of Practice
The Digital Main Street program, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and delivered by the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA), will soon be available across the province to help ‘main street’ businesses become more digital. The program will be live on August 24, 2018, and as part of Ontario’s Main Street Enhancement Initiative, it will help small businesses improve how they use digital tools and provide them with techniques to become even more successful. Continue reading Expanded Digital Main Street Program to Support Ontario Small Businesses
Leaders can impact their community and enhance regional economic development through innovative problem solving and creative solutions. The inaugural Rural Ontario Leaders Awards (ROLA) were given out in February 2018. Among the winners was New Vision Unlimited. They won the Not-for-Profit category for their leadership and work towards strengthening rural Ontario.
New Vision Unlimited won the Not-for-Profit category for their community HUB office space in Huntsville, Ontario. Continue reading Rural Ontario Leaders Award Winner: New Vision Unlimited
Rural Ontario is composed of diverse communities, with varying requirements to support community revitalization. While some places have strong drivers for economic growth and staff resources to support economic development, that is not the case for all communities. If you are one of the latter communities, we invite you to become familiar with welcome Teeny Tiny Places.
The Municipality of Tweed and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs are proud and excited to present the 2018 Teeny Tiny Summit, Creating our Future: Finding the EXTRAORDINARY in the Ordinary, to be held on June 14 at Trudeau Park in Tweed!
Visit www.teenytinysummit.com for more information and to register. Continue reading Teeny Tiny Summit 2018 – Creating our Future – Finding the EXTRAORDINARY in the Ordinary
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
Continue reading Apply Now for The Premier’s Award For Agri-Food Innovation Excellence Program