Category Archives: Economic Development

Planning for Agriculture Requires Balancing Growth and Compatibility

On March 5th, 2020, the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice hosted a webinar on planning for agriculture. This webinar fostered a discussion between the audience and the speaker, Dr. Wayne Caldwell, on the impact and opportunities for land use planning and near-urban agriculture. Potential challenges and opportunities were addressed, along with ten methods to create a more viable agricultural sector through planning practices.

As Ontario’s population grows, urbanized and highly populated areas are expanding into agricultural areas. While there are certainly opportunities for agriculture in proximity to urban markets, it can also pose some risks and challenges.

Continue reading Planning for Agriculture Requires Balancing Growth and Compatibility

Effective business outreach during COVID-19

Businesses in all sectors will be impacted by COVID-19 in some manner. In order to support them effectively, economic developers will need to do some outreach and consultation to assess these impacts and determine the needs of the businesses in their communities.

This will be particularly difficult at this moment, as businesses struggle with various priorities. Here are some tips to connect with your businesses effectively.

bre_logo_1400x570Business Retention & Expansion (BR+E) is a concept that can be activated for times of crisis. It is a structured and community-based approach to business and economic development. It helps communities learn about issues facing local businesses and sets priorities to address these needs where possible to help strengthen the economy. It is important to recognize that few communities can do everything they would like to do to support their existing businesses.

Continue reading Effective business outreach during COVID-19

Tips for Improving BR+E Business Interviews

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.

BR+E best practice suggests that interviews should ideally be conducted in-person because face-to-face interactions can offer beneficial results. However, there are some potential challenges to be aware of.

Continue reading Tips for Improving BR+E Business Interviews

Sobeys Helps Local Suppliers Expand Their Business

Sobeys Ontario held two Local Supplier Partner Roadshows to help their suppliers grow their businesses on February 4th in Ajax and February 5th in Hamilton. Over 372 people from local Ontario agri-food businesses attended each event.

The Local Supplier Partner Roadshows were composed of:

  • Presentations by Sheri Evans, Sobeys Local Development Manager who provided an overview of the Sobeys Local program, and;
  • Interactive panels who answered questions about working with the Sobeys stores and growing their brands.

Continue reading Sobeys Helps Local Suppliers Expand Their Business

Online Agriculture Economic Development Training

If your community is looking for ways to support your local agriculture sector; plan on attending the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) online Agriculture Economic Development Training.

The course is split into two sessions (April 8, 10am- 12pm and April 22, 10am-12pm). Click here to register.

This interactive training will:

  • Share key agriculture economic development concepts
  • Introduce the range of agriculture economic development activities your community can explore
  • Give you tools to develop a plan for agricultural economic development in your community
  • Provide an overview of the Agriculture Economic Development guide and its three stages: plant, grow and harvest.

Continue reading Online Agriculture Economic Development Training

Tips for Completing Your Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Application.

The Rural Economic Development (RED) program supports activities that create strong rural communities in Ontario and opens doors to rural economic development. The program is now open and will accept applications until February 24, 2020.

Applicants are required to read the program guidelines before completing an application. The program guidelines provide detailed information on eligible applicants, project types, and costs, as well as the process for submitting an application and the process that will be used to assess the application.

In advance of the intake closing, the slide deck below is focused on providing some helpful tips to consider in completing your application.

Continue reading Tips for Completing Your Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Application.

Planning Principles for Creating Healthy Rural Communities

According to this article published in 2016, 1 in 5 Ontario residents live in rural communities. As with larger urban areas, the health of residents in these rural areas is becoming more important as the population ages. Increasingly, municipalities, planners, and public health professionals are understanding that there are clear linkages between the built environment and the health of a community. So, how does the rural built environment and land use planning affect quality of life and health outcomes? This question is answered through first recognizing what rural planning is and the importance of rural health.

The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) defines rural planning as planning to improve quality of life and promote economic vitality in areas of low population density, with an expansive rural landscape and dispersed population. Planning for rural communities presents unique challenges not necessarily experienced in urban communities. Continue reading Planning Principles for Creating Healthy Rural Communities

Everything You Need to Know About Leasing Greenhouses

 

greenhouse with peopleFarm business and greenhouse owners are presented with all sorts of opportunities. You might be looking at expanding your operation and need another greenhouse, or you may be thinking of slowing down and reducing production. Either way, it is always a good idea to weigh the options available to you. This article focuses on leasing greenhouses, and what greenhouse owners (landlord) and farmers (tenant) need to consider before signing on the dotted line.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Leases

Leases can be beneficial to both the landlords and tenants. Below you will see what the pros and cons are for a lease from a landlord’s standpoint and a tenant’s standpoint.

Landlord Standpoint

Continue reading Everything You Need to Know About Leasing Greenhouses

The Rural Economic Development (RED) is Accepting Applications

What is the RED Program?

Rural Economic Development (RED) is a cost-share funding program that supports projects that create strong rural communities in Ontario.

What are RED Outcomes?

RED applications are assessed on their ability to result in one or more of the following:

  • Jobs retained or created
  • Investments attracted or retained
  • Businesses attracted, retained and/or expanded

Continue reading The Rural Economic Development (RED) is Accepting Applications

Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative intake 2 now opened

What is the timing of the Intake?

The next application intake for the Place to Grow program will be from January 6 to January 27, 2020.

Overview webinar on the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative 

OMAFRA staff will be conducting two public webinars to provide an overview of the Initiative, and the process for applying to the program.

The first session is scheduled for January 9th 9:30-11:00 a.m. The second session is scheduled for January 16th 9:30-11:00 a.m. To register to attend the free webinars complete the online registration form or contact ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca or 1-877-424-1300

What is the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative? Continue reading Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative intake 2 now opened