As a continuation of a previous blog post on tips to support your business community, this blog offers mental health strategies on navigating through COVID-19. Due to the uncertainty business owners are currently facing, it can be extremely difficult to manage stress levels while working through economic setbacks. Although, there are several significant unknowns, it is important to ensure that mental health and self-care is a top priority for yourself and your business community during these challenging times. It is not uncommon to experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and stress.
Below are some key insights from mental health experts on practicing good self-care for yourself and your employees.
Continue reading Tips for Creating a Calm and Supportive Workplace during COVID-19
On March 5th, 2020, the Agriculture Economic Development and Planning Community of Practice hosted a webinar on planning for agriculture. This webinar fostered a discussion between the audience and the speaker, Dr. Wayne Caldwell, on the impact and opportunities for land use planning and near-urban agriculture. Potential challenges and opportunities were addressed, along with ten methods to create a more viable agricultural sector through planning practices.
As Ontario’s population grows, urbanized and highly populated areas are expanding into agricultural areas. While there are certainly opportunities for agriculture in proximity to urban markets, it can also pose some risks and challenges.
Continue reading Planning for Agriculture Requires Balancing Growth and Compatibility
Businesses in all sectors will be impacted by COVID-19 in some manner. In order to support them effectively, economic developers will need to do some outreach and consultation to assess these impacts and determine the needs of the businesses in their communities.
This will be particularly difficult at this moment, as businesses struggle with various priorities. Here are some tips to connect with your businesses effectively.
Business Retention & Expansion (BR+E) is a concept that can be activated for times of crisis. It is a structured and community-based approach to business and economic development. It helps communities learn about issues facing local businesses and sets priorities to address these needs where possible to help strengthen the economy. It is important to recognize that few communities can do everything they would like to do to support their existing businesses.
Continue reading Effective business outreach during COVID-19
Business Retention & Expansion (BR+E) is a structured, action-oriented and community-based approach to business and economic development. The data and knowledge obtained from business interviews is used to address issues and opportunities facing employers.
BR+E best practice suggests that interviews should ideally be conducted in-person because face-to-face interactions can offer beneficial results. However, there are some potential challenges to be aware of.
Continue reading Tips for Improving BR+E Business Interviews
If your community is looking for ways to support your local agriculture sector; plan on attending the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) online Agriculture Economic Development Training.
The course is split into two sessions (April 8, 10am- 12pm and April 22, 10am-12pm). Click here to register.
This interactive training will:
- Share key agriculture economic development concepts
- Introduce the range of agriculture economic development activities your community can explore
- Give you tools to develop a plan for agricultural economic development in your community
- Provide an overview of the Agriculture Economic Development guide and its three stages: plant, grow and harvest.
Continue reading Online Agriculture Economic Development Training
The Rural Economic Development (RED) program supports activities that create strong rural communities in Ontario and opens doors to rural economic development. The program is now open and will accept applications until February 24, 2020.
Applicants are required to read the program guidelines before completing an application. The program guidelines provide detailed information on eligible applicants, project types, and costs, as well as the process for submitting an application and the process that will be used to assess the application.
In advance of the intake closing, the slide deck below is focused on providing some helpful tips to consider in completing your application.
Continue reading Tips for Completing Your Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Application.
According to this article published in 2016, 1 in 5 Ontario residents live in rural communities. As with larger urban areas, the health of residents in these rural areas is becoming more important as the population ages. Increasingly, municipalities, planners, and public health professionals are understanding that there are clear linkages between the built environment and the health of a community. So, how does the rural built environment and land use planning affect quality of life and health outcomes? This question is answered through first recognizing what rural planning is and the importance of rural health.
The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) defines rural planning as planning to improve quality of life and promote economic vitality in areas of low population density, with an expansive rural landscape and dispersed population. Planning for rural communities presents unique challenges not necessarily experienced in urban communities. Continue reading Planning Principles for Creating Healthy Rural Communities
Farm business and greenhouse owners are presented with all sorts of opportunities. You might be looking at expanding your operation and need another greenhouse, or you may be thinking of slowing down and reducing production. Either way, it is always a good idea to weigh the options available to you. This article focuses on leasing greenhouses, and what greenhouse owners (landlord) and farmers (tenant) need to consider before signing on the dotted line.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Leases
Leases can be beneficial to both the landlords and tenants. Below you will see what the pros and cons are for a lease from a landlord’s standpoint and a tenant’s standpoint.
Continue reading Everything You Need to Know About Leasing Greenhouses
Since its inception in 1922, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been a gathering place for Canadian farmers, growers and producers to display their very best agricultural products. Fast forward to 2019, and The Royal has grown to become the largest indoor agricultural event in the world. Each year, this impressive event attracts, educates and entertains over 300,000 attendees.
Continue reading Metro puts the spotlight on local food at The Royal
Asking people to volunteer is not an easy task, but by recruiting volunteers it can provide benefits such as: helping spread the work among members of the organization, keep the organization alive, bring in new ideas and get work done.
By following these five steps, recruiting volunteers does not have to be a problem!
Step One: Define the Job
Continue reading 5 Steps to Successfully Recruiting Volunteers