Category Archives: Economic Development

New $6M Investment in Local Food

The Ontario government is providing $6 million over three years to increase sales of local food by making it more widely available and building awareness of the variety of food grown and produced in Ontario.

This funding is not restricted to the Greenbelt, and is available to organizations across Ontario.  The funds will be administered by the Greenbelt Fund, through the Regional Food Grant Program. Continue reading New $6M Investment in Local Food

3 Ways Data can Support Economic Development

As I stated in my last blog post “Effective Economic Development Requires Data”, data is critical to understanding the local and regional economy. Expanding on that point, there are three main areas where data supports economic development.


Use data to inform economic development strate
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Hastings County 2014 Situation Analysis Report

Data can help identify a region’s most important economic assets and conditions. The ability to identify these is important for making informed decisions about what industries to focus on for retention, recruitment, or start-up. This can also help get diverse stakeholder groups onto the same page. As a result, strategies built on data are more likely to stand the test of time because they are designed based on a commonly held set of facts, rather than being based on perception. Continue reading 3 Ways Data can Support Economic Development

Outputs are good….outcomes are great! Improving performance measurement in economic development organizations

Performance measurement is the collection and analysis of data and the reporting of the data results. Performance measurement helps organizations assess the progress their initiatives are making towards desired results. The results can include both outputs (what products or services an organization delivers) and outcomes (the resulting change that occurs as a result of a product or service being delivered).

Continue reading Outputs are good….outcomes are great! Improving performance measurement in economic development organizations

Rural Economic Development Program Opens for New Applications

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:Picture1

  • 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.

For more information on the renewed RED program, please visit our website.

Huron County wide Economic Development Strategic Planning Pilot Project

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Team Members working through a Strategic Planning Exercise

An exciting new pilot project is underway in Huron County. The ten municipal partners in Huron are developing economic development strategic plans using a different approach than the traditional one used in the past. Each municipality has selected a Core Team of five people each to lead the process. Continue reading Huron County wide Economic Development Strategic Planning Pilot Project

Overview of the First Impression Community Exchange Program

A group of people having a discussionA 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

Business Retention + Expansion: a successful 4-stage community approach

BR+E four stage process
New BR+E four stage process

The Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) program is a structured action oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development. The BR+E process helps communities to prioritize their efforts in supporting their existing businesses.

Continue reading Business Retention + Expansion: a successful 4-stage community approach

Effective economic development requires data

Effective economic development requires an understanding of the local and regional economy. No one I know would argue this (especially not economic development practitioners). Data is critical to understanding the local and regional economy.

For example: Norfolk County is where I grew up and still frequently visit. Norfolk  is a single tier municipality located on the north shore of Lake Erie (famous for its Friday the 13th biker rallies). Today Norfolk has a population of approximately 65,000 people. Continue reading Effective economic development requires data