Category Archives: Economic Development

BR+E Part 1 Coordinator Training in Embro

OMAFRA Rural Oxford logois partnering with Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation to deliver a one-day training session focusing on stages one and two of the BR+E process. This training will take place in Embro, Ontario on Thursday April 26, 2018.

This training session is geared towards:

  • individuals who are interested in managing or coordinating a community level BR+E project
  • economic development professionals who will be involved in the implementation of a BR+E project

The objectives of the session are to provide attendees with:

  • an understanding of the role of a BR+E project coordinator
  • an overview of the benefits of BR+E and its role as a component of economic development
  • the knowledge required to assess a community’s readiness for BR+E
  • the skills required to effectively oversee and conduct business interviews

Continue reading BR+E Part 1 Coordinator Training in Embro

March Downtown Revitalization Online Community of Practice

Building on the success of the first online Downtown Revitalization Community of Practice (DRCOP) held in November 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is pleased to launch the second session in the series, to be held on March 29th, 2018, from 10:30am-12:00pm.

What is a Community of Practice? It is an informally structured group that allows practitioners with an interest in economic development or downtown development to promote leading practices, share success stories, and build capabilities for supporting downtown revitalization across the province. Membership is open and attendance at any individual event is optional, as the topics will vary based on interest expressed by the group. Continue reading March Downtown Revitalization Online Community of Practice

Individuals Impacting Their Community – ROLA Winners

Strong leaders positively impact their community; sparking innovation and inspiring others along the way. The inaugural Rural Ontario Leaders Awards (ROLA) celebrated the 2017 winners in February 2018. Among the winners were Dr. Gezahgn Wordofa and Grant Sparling, who won in their respective categories. They were nominated by their community peers for the leadership they demonstrate which helps to strengthen rural Ontario. Continue reading Individuals Impacting Their Community – ROLA Winners

Important Policy Changes to Analyst

Due to the dramatic increase in requests to use Analyst, OMAFRA is changing the way clients access the tool. In the past clients have been able to rollover their licence; sometimes making it difficult to fulfill new requests for access. In addition, the rollover practice limited the client feedback we were able to collect.

 

Action A: Licence Access Hard Cap

Beginning on March 1 2018, Analyst clients will have a maximum of five months to access the tool for each individual project. Once the five month period has ended, clients will have the opportunity to justify why they need a further extension by completing a short survey. The survey will also ask that the client provide project completion timelines. Continue reading Important Policy Changes to Analyst

Insights from over 1,100 BR+E Surveys

The results for the July 2016 – December 2017 roll up report are here! Over 1,100 businesses were surveyed across Ontario, and the key findings have been aggregated in an infographic. For clients with ongoing BR+E Projects, the roll up offers a benchmark to measure the success of their own BR+E Project against the Provincial average. In comparison, clients who are interested in starting a project can use the roll up report to help identify an area of focus for their project.

BRE roll up report 16-17

2 Workshop Sessions You Don’t Want to Miss at the 61st EDCO Conference

Economic development is constantly evolving and changing, forcing economic developers to think outside the box to continue growing local economies. This is exactly what the 61st annual Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) conference will be focusing on. This year’s theme is Mission Possible: Agents of Change, and is all about challenging norms and using creativity and innovation to take action.

There are a great selection of sessions to choose from but we are especially excited about two, being held on Tuesday February 6th:

Beyond Streetscapes, Best Practices for Recruiting Investment into Your Downtown – 11:00am

Downtown areas are the heart and soul of communities and vital to their survival.
Each features its own unique architecture, culture, traditions, heritage, and workforce. This workshop will highlight the key trends affecting downtown revitalization, and discuss tools and best practices to bring new business and investment into the downtown core. Continue reading 2 Workshop Sessions You Don’t Want to Miss at the 61st EDCO Conference

New Main Street Revitalization Initiative

Vibrant main streets help attract visitors, create jobs and increase the competitiveness of small businesses, which are the backbone of small, rural communities. At this year’s Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) announced the Main Street Revitalization Initiative, a new initiative that will be administered by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and its rural arm, ROMA, to support the revitalization of downtown and main streets across Ontario.

The province is investing up to $26 million in the initiative, which is part of a larger $40 million investment in the Main Street Enhancement Initiative focused on strengthening communities’ planning and implementation activities in downtown and main street areas, as well as providing business support for capital improvements, enhanced digital capabilities and improvements to energy efficiencies. Continue reading New Main Street Revitalization Initiative

Tips for Completing your Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Application

The Rural Economic Development (RED) program helps rural communities remove barriers to community economic development, through support for planning and implementation projects that benefit rural Ontario. The program is now open and will accept applications until December 1, 2017. The next intake is scheduled for July 30, 2018 to September 28, 2018. Continue reading Tips for Completing your Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Application

Best Practices for Downtown Revitalization

Building on the online model developed by the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice (AED COP), the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is launching an online community of practice for Downtown Revitalization in Ontario.

What is a Community of Practice? It is an informally structured group that allows practitioners with an interest in economic development or downtown development to promote leading practices, share success stories, and Continue reading Best Practices for Downtown Revitalization

Strategic Planning is a Great way to Keep your Organization on Track.

Strategic planning should be embedded into the regular operation of any organization. It helps organizations make sound decisions to guide its activities over time.

OMAFRA has partnered with the Ontario Business Improvement Areas Association (OBIAA) to deliver a free program to build organizational capacity using the Strategic Planning Train-the-Trainer (TTT) program. The program engages and trains a core team of volunteers from within the BIA to strengthen their leadership skills and build a network of support and collaboration that will assist them in creating a strategic plan for their organization.

To participate, BIAs must:

  • Be willing to participate in the strategic planning process
  • Have a commitment from the Board to the process
  • Not be in a crisis situation
  • Have five volunteers (the Core Team) that will commit to be trained to facilitate strategic planning

The program includes five hands-on sessions delivered via webinar, running on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 pm starting November 28, 2017 until March 2018. Volunteers will learn about each stage of OMAFRA’s strategic planning framework, and how it provides a foundation for the next stage. As homework, Core Team members will facilitate that stage of the strategic planning process with their own organization. If you missed the Lunch and Learn on October 24, the slide deck below provides an overview of the program:

Continue reading Strategic Planning is a Great way to Keep your Organization on Track.