Category Archives: Economic Development

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

The benefits of accessible recreation extend beyond the playground

Our previous blog post, Why Your Community Should Invest In Accessibility, discussed why accessibility is an important economic and social consideration. Investing in accessible spaces may seem like a large undertaking. However, rural communities in Ontario are proving that building accessible community centres and parks is not only achievable, but also has significant benefits for residents and the surrounding region. The towns of Southampton and Elmira offer excellent examples of communities that have seen the social and economic benefits of investing in accessibility. Continue reading The benefits of accessible recreation extend beyond the playground

CED 201 Webinar – Expand Your Knowledge of Community Economic Development

Earlier this year the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) hosted several Community Economic Development workshops (CED 101) across Ontario. These sessions helped those involved in local economic development learn the basics of economic development in local communities, and how these concepts can be applied in municipal environments.

During CED 101, participants learned that Community Economic Development is a process of fostering an environment that results in the creation of wealth and well-being for the benefit of the community. CED is practiced through mobilizing economic wealth generators (e.g., investment attraction), support activities (e.g., family doctor recruitment) and community supports (e.g., infrastructure improvement).

Continue reading CED 201 Webinar – Expand Your Knowledge of Community Economic Development

Canadian Agricultural Partnership Cost-share Funding is Open to Help Food Processors Grow their Business

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The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-product sectors.

On November 4th , the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) opened to receive applications from Ontario food processors and other agri-businesses. This intake is tailored to agri-food businesses looking to increase food safety, develop new markets and expand their operations with the goal of increasing competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability. Cost-share funding under the Partnership is merit-based, and project funding amounts are individually established based on project categories.

Applications can be submitted until November 26, 2019 at 5:00pm EDT.

Continue reading Canadian Agricultural Partnership Cost-share Funding is Open to Help Food Processors Grow their Business

Why your community should invest in accessibility

First impressions can be tough! When getting ready for an interview, you could spend hours preparing for questions, choosing the perfect outfit and researching the organization! But what about communities? How can communities prepare to ensure that tourists, investors and potential residents have a positive impression upon their initial visit?

This two-part blog series will discuss why community accessibility is an important component that economic development professionals should consider when evaluating how their community fares for first-time-visitors. Continue reading Why your community should invest in accessibility

Registration is now open for the 2019 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum!

tomatoesIf you have agriculture economic development in your portfolio, don’t miss this opportunity to hear about the latest trends, network, learn from your peers, and talk about the future of the industry.  The theme of this year’s Forum is “Embracing the Future: Agriculture and Technology”.  Come and hear about leading edge research and development that is taking place in Ontario, as well as get a glimpse into what the future could hold. Continue reading Registration is now open for the 2019 Municipal Agriculture Economic Development Forum!

Trade mission to Japan & South Korea presents new opportunities for Ontario agri-food businesses

Ontario’s agri-food sector is a power house in North America, and a key contributor to the province’s economy, supporting more than 837,000 jobs and contributing $47.7 billion towards the province’s GDP. To maintain Ontario’s leadership in the agri-food sector, the province has launched the Market Access Initiative – targeted cost-share funding available to help businesses and organizations across the Ontario supply value-chain that have been directly impacted by trade restrictions.

This initiative is only a small part of what the province is doing to help navigate trade challenges. Over the next two weeks, Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade are leading an Ontario trade mission to South Korea and Japan.

Continue reading Trade mission to Japan & South Korea presents new opportunities for Ontario agri-food businesses

Zen and the Art of Business Retention and Expansion

It seems simple, right? Interview a bunch of businesses, and then do what they told you to do. There! A Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) project!

If only.

BR+E projects are complex, multi-stakeholder efforts with many moving parts. They need a strong foundation, good partnerships and a healthy dose of flexibility.

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At the Ontario East Municipal Conference, three economic developers shared their hard-won wisdom about managing a successful Business Retention + Expansion project. All three had recently completed county-wide BR+E projects with various levels of involvement from lower tier partners. Continue reading Zen and the Art of Business Retention and Expansion

Getting Ready for Ag Week – Know your regional stats!

October 7-13 is Ontario Agriculture Week; a time dedicated to celebrating the abundance of food our farmers produce, the people our industry employs, the rural communities we support and the economic engine we fuel. Many communities recognize that agriculture benefits regional economies, however, clearly communicating the contributions of the sector can be challenging. Presenting data in a compelling way and bolstering community-agriculture relations is helping communities draw attention to the crucial role agriculture plays in local economies.

Regions of Peel and Chatham-Kent offer examples, illustrating how communities can leverage data and improve the regional understanding of agriculture.


Continue reading Getting Ready for Ag Week – Know your regional stats!