Tag Archives: Economic Development

Curious About Exporting to the USA? Attend the Free PROFIT Webinar Series!

OMAFRA’s PROFIT (Program to Raise Ontario Food International Trade), is designed to provide a working knowledge of exporting food and beverage products to the USA.  For 2020, PROFIT will be offered in virtual format at no cost. This highly successful ‘how to export’ program will be offered in eight, 90-minute sessions during the month of September 2020.

Any Ontario-based manufacturer or seller of Ontario-made food, beverage or agriculture products are welcome to register and attend the eight session webinars.

Topics will include:

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Recovery Plans & Performance Measures – Is your plan working?

Every community across Ontario has been impacted by COVID-19 and its effects have been felt by all businesses. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to a recovery plan. Communities need to continue to develop recovery plans based on their own unique situation.

The plan may contain a flurry of actions to help business communities and support local needs – but how do you know the recovery plan will work or is working?

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Exporting Opportunities to the United Kingdom for Food and Beverage Manufacturers

Are you interested in exporting to the United Kingdom? The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, July 23, from 10 AM – 11 AM EST. The webinar will discuss opportunities for food and beverage companies to export to the UK. Topics will include:

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8 Key Takeaways for Economic Developers from the 2020 Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) Conference

The 2020 BREI Conference took place during the week of June 15, 2020 and featured a variety of presenters from across North America. Academics and practitioners presented on emerging BR+E practices and guided discussions centered around the role of BR+E as an economic recovery tool. Below are 8 key takeaways from the conference:

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Road to Economic Recovery Using BR+E for Rural Communities

A strong Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) program can help communities understand and address prospects and issues facing their business community. Amidst a global COVID-19 outbreak that has significantly impacted local economies, it is crucial, now more than ever, to consider BR+E as a means to:

  • assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak to the local economy
  • identify current and potential opportunities and challenges that lie ahead

breBR+Es work by using survey questions to conduct live interviews with the business community. Once the data has been collected it is used to formulate actions to support the business community. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ (OMAFRA’s) BR+E program helps communities develop situation specific surveys which ask meaningful questions that in turn provide the data needed to plan for economic recovery and future resiliency.

This post will examine the importance of undertaking BR+E in the current context.

Why is BR+E important now?

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Reopening Physically-Distanced Downtowns

As Ontario transitions through the Framework for Reopening Our Province, downtowns and main street areas are required to operate in different ways than they have in the past. On June 1, 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs facilitated an online Community of Practice event to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with the reopening of downtowns. Speakers Stephannie Schlichter, Director of Economic and Creative Development of the City of Barrie, Noella Rinaldo, Executive Director of the Downtown Timmins Business Improvement Area, and Kay Matthews, Executive Director of the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA), provided their input on some of the methods and techniques that their municipalities have introduced to support the reopening of downtowns.

A few key ways were identified as quick, high-impact tasks that municipalities can implement in downtowns to attract residents and boost their economic recovery:

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Examples of Economic Recovery Teams

In the past couple months, Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) has hosted a 2-part webinar series discussing emergency economic task forces. The series covered key economic challenges and successes from both rural and urban perspectives. Fellow EDCO members Craig Kelley – Director of Property and Development with the County of Renfrew, Rebecca Mustard – Manager of Economic Development with the City of Kawartha Lakes, and Martin Bohl – Sector Manager with the City of Brampton shared insights on their local efforts to support their community in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Structuring an emergency economic task force was discussed as a means to support local businesses and guide the community back toward a thriving economy.

Why are economic task forces beneficial?

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How to Structure an Economic Recovery Team

Our previous blog post, The Importance of Collaboration to Support Economy Recovery, discussed how initiatives that are built on collaboration will be stronger and more resilient. The next two posts will delve into best practices to consider when structuring your recovery team so it can best support your local businesses.

Economic Recovery Management Committees or Economic Recovery Taskforces provide focus and lead the efforts throughout the recovery process. The team has several core functions and roles including:

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Buy Local!!!

Ontario’s Local Food Week is here from June 3rd – 9th, 2020! This week we emphasize the importance of Ontario’s hardworking farmers, food processors, organizations and agri-sector workers who are committed to providing Ontarians with access to a steady, reliable supply of fresh local food products. With the vast array of food options available, we can remain confident that our agriculture and agri-food industry continues to be resilient and innovative.

girl workingOMAFRA’s Agriculture Economic Development Resource Guide for Communities notes that Ontario’s agri-food sector is one of the province’s largest economic contributors. In 2016, over $37 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) was contributed to Ontario’s economy from the agri-sector with the provision of over 800,000 jobs – roughly 12% of total provincial employment. This means that one in eight Ontarians are agri-sector workers!

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