The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs introduced the Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) program in 1998 to support economic development efforts of rural communities. BR+E is a structured acton-oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development. Continue reading Updates to the Ontario Business Retention & Expansion Program Resources
Downtown Revitalization Community of Practice sessions are an excellent opportunity for downtown revitalization coordinators, volunteers and community leaders to network, gain insights into the experiences, successes and challenges communities have faced on their downtown revitalization journey Continue reading Ontario Downtown Revitalization Community of Practice Sessions
Welcome to our blog.
We are always looking for ways to better connect with you. Our stakeholders have taken to social media so we thought it is time we did too. This blog is designed to keep you up to date with the latest information on how you can grow your agriculture and economic development initiatives.
I joined the Regional Economic Development Branch (REDB) in January of 2015 and have been tasked with the job of leading a team of passionate and highly knowledgeable economic development specialists and advisors across the province whom are dedicated to helping you develop and advance your plans. The training, information and tools our team can provide are designed to move your economic and agriculture development initiatives in the right direction, driving prosperity in your community.
Prior to arriving here at OMAFRA, I spent 4 years with the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI) where I was focused on helping small and medium sized businesses grow. Many of these businesses reside in rural Ontario where retaining and expanding business was critical to supporting the economic fabric in their regions. Leveraging the experience and connections I gained while with MEDEI will undoubtedly serve me well, and the Regional Economic Development Branch here at OMAFRA too.
Having only been here a short while, I have come to understand and appreciate the hard work the folks at OMAFRA do to ensure we are working to better serve clients across the province every day. Truth in the matter though, we depend on client feedback to ensure we are helping clients where they need it most. If you have suggestions, we want to hear them. If you have concerns, please let us know. I’m excited at the possibilities that lay ahead. My team has talent, expertise and passion for the work they do. When you succeed, we know we’ve done our job. To reach the advisor in your area, please visit our website.
Enjoy the blog and hope our paths cross in the near future.
Director, Regional Economic Development Branch
You’re a small community in rural Ontario. You have a stable or declining population, no downtown core, no economic development officer and no strong drivers of economic activity. Give up, right? Not so fast…
Economic development is a means to an end goal, which is community well-being. And Teeny Tiny Places can improve community well-being as much as any other place. They simply work on a different scale and with a different toolkit. Continue reading Too Small for Economic Development? 5 Strategies for Teeny Tiny Places.
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Performance and Planning Exchange (PPX) Symposium in Ottawa, Ontario. This international centre of excellence provides learning, sharing and the development of expertise in performance and planning – including its measurement, implementation, public reporting and management. Primarily catering to a federal government audience, it was beneficial to understand the culture of performance measurement that is entrenched and how the use of evidence-based measurement drives federal transfer payments. I was also interested to learn that the messaging they provide in their results-based management 101 course is very similar to the Regional Economic Development Branch’s Measuring Up! performance measurement resource. Continue reading Two Takeaways for Successful Performance Measurement from PPX
OMAFRA partnered with the Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies to deliver the strategic planning ‘Train-the-Trainer’ project in 2014. Continue reading Outcomes from the Strategic Planning Pilot Project
Results from 3,100 surveys in 73 BR+E projects undertaken from across Ontario between 2009 – 2014 have been analyzed. Continue reading Insights from 3,100 Ontario Business Retention and Expansion Surveys
Ontario has launched its first-ever Local Food Report, which measures the province’s progress in bringing local food to more tables across the province
In 2013, Ontario passed the Local Food Act, 2013 which aims to increase awareness of local food, nurture local food markets and foster vibrant food-based economies across the province. The Act also commits to an annual report on the province’s local food activities, goals and accomplishments. The first ever Local Food Report highlights some of the actions taken by the province and the agri-food sector to promote and celebrate local food this year, including:
- Setting food literacy goals to increase the number of Ontarians who know what local foods are available, who know how and where to obtain local foods and who know how to prepare meals made with local food.
- Providing a tax credit to farmers for making food donations to food banks and student nutrition programs.
- Piloting a fundraising initiative that helps the province’s schools to fundraise by selling Ontario-grown fruits and vegetables to families.
- Distributing more than 800,000 copies of Foodland Ontario’s local food recipe calendar in 2014.
The inaugural report will help the
province track future progress in meeting its local food goals.
Have you heard the term Community Economic Development but you’re not sure exactly what it means? It’s not simply the application of a “do this and you’ll get that” strategy but rather a process that a community can undertake to identify and use
resources to attract capital and increase physical, commercial, and business development and job opportunities for its residents. Continue reading Feedback from the Community Economic Development 101 Sessions