Tag Archives: economy

Advancing Opportunities in the South Korean Market to Ontario Exporters

Registration is now open for the FREE South Korea Market Opportunities Webinar occurring on March 10, 2021 from 7:30 – 9:15 PM EST. The Ministries of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) in collaboration with, the Korea Importers Association (KOIMA) and the Canada Embassy in Korea will host the webinar. This dynamic and engaging event will educate Ontario agri-food and non-food consumer product manufacturers about existing export opportunities to the South Korean market.

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Using Focus Groups for Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E)

A thorough Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) exercise can take several months to complete. However, there may be times when an economic development practitioner may need to gather data quickly. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with the County of Simcoe and the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury to address this challenge as they developed their COVID-19 Recovery Plans. Instead of the usual one-on-one business interviews, we used a series of virtual focus groups to collect the business information they needed to develop recovery strategies within a short timeframe.

Our focus groups consisted of a small group of people that would typically be engaged in a BR+E exercise. We used a short-list of questions (no more than four questions per hour of focus group discussion) targeting immediate and long-term opportunities and challenges.

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Findings From the 2020 OMAFRA Recovery BR+E Surveys

BR+E continues to take center stage for many communities across Ontario as they navigate through shifting local economic conditions. Data gathered through BR+E interviews and surveys can provide a window into the challenges and opportunities faced by many businesses. This precedes effective, targeted actions and strategies to facilitate the growth and success of local businesses.

While a typical BR+E survey is extensive and provides several opportunities for probing and in-depth discussion, the current economic climate may call for a different approach. Some communities would prefer a streamlined set of questions to quickly identify and address major issues and facilitate business growth. The OMAFRA Recovery BR+E Survey contains 15 questions under the following topics:

  • General Information
  • Workforce
  • Resources and Supports
  • Looking ahead

Below are some highlights from data collected between April 2020 and December 2020 by communities using the OMAFRA Recovery BR+E Survey:

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Exporting Opportunities Through Indian E-Commerce Platforms

The High Commission of Canada in New Delhi, in collaboration with Canadian Food Exporters Association (CFEA) is offering  a series of free webinars with Amazon India that will take place from August to September 2020. The first webinar with the Amazon India team will be held on August 19, 2020.

The High Commission has partnered with Amazon India to facilitate a listing of Canadian brands on the Amazon India e-commerce platform. Together with their  in house plug and play network of importers, they are keen to add more Canadian food products to their portfolio. The webinars are strategically structured to provide Canadian exporters with a detailed overview of opportunities in the Indian market via e-commerce, the Amazon India partnership and the proposed program for Canadian brands.

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Participate in the Trade Accelerator Program and Learn How to Expand Your Business Into International Markets

This September the World Trade Centre Toronto will be hosting their award-winning Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) virtually and focus entirely on the Agri-Food and Beverage sector. TAP is an innovative program designed to help small to medium-sized businesses accelerate their growth by expanding internationally!

The export process can be daunting, costly, and time-consuming. Through these four virtual sessions, participating companies will establish key contacts, and have access to targeted expertise and strategic planning tools, needed to successfully launch into new markets, as well as grow in current markets. By the end of the program, participating companies will walk away with a complete Strategic Export Business Plan carefully vetted by industry leading partners and sponsors.

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Teeny Tiny Summit Goes Virtual! Big Ideas for Small Places: A celebration and Exploration of Small-Town Possibilities

In 2020, Teeny Tiny Summits will be moving to a virtual format featuring a series of three webinars. The virtual Teeny Tiny webinars will shine a light on creative ideas and people in small communities that have made the most of the past few months. The webinar series will be sharing ideas and actions from community leaders in small communities of all kinds for informative and inspiring sessions.

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Adapting your Business Retention + Expansion Practices During a Crisis

Just as the activities of business and government are shifting to meet the demands of the current context, the BR+E process should also adapt to meet today’s economic development needs. To tackle the implications of this outbreak, communities and organizations will benefit from having access to and sharing timely, reliable, and meaningful data. This data can allow stakeholders and the business community to share critical information that can help address individual, regional and sector-based issues.

This post will review four keys ways in which your BR+E practices could pivot to address today’s economy.

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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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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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