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

Staff Profile: Catherine Oosterbaan, Ec.D.

Get to know our staff. We’ll be profiling them here so you can get to know who can help you grow your ideas. 

1. What is your role in the Regional Economic Development Branch?  

Catherine Oosterbaan, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor
Catherine Oosterbaan, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor

As an Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, my role is to promote Ministry programs, while helping municipalities, rural stakeholders, and businesses access them. That can involve anything from presenting information, to helping clients refine a funding application, to delivering program-related training and workshops. I also deliver a range of advisory supports, provide knowledge and assistance to get projects, initiatives and other rural prosperity related activities started, get on-track or expand. Furthermore, as facilitating economic development readiness is of critical importance to our branch, I work with stakeholders to complete economic development related strategic planning activities. I am currently responsible for covering Simcoe County, and Muskoka District. Continue reading Staff Profile: Catherine Oosterbaan, Ec.D.

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

Farming the North – Growing opportunities for agriculture in Northern Ontario

farmnorthbanner 60OMAFRA is working with the agriculture community to provide opportunities to expand agriculture in Northern Ontario with a website that offers clients information to help them make their expansion or investment decisions. September 1, 2015 is the launch date for the website. Check it out farmnorth.com. Continue reading Farming the North – Growing opportunities for agriculture in Northern Ontario

Updates to the Ontario Business Retention & Expansion Program Resources

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 actWorking Group Meetingon-oriented and community-based  approach to business and economic development. Continue reading Updates to the Ontario Business Retention & Expansion Program Resources