Encourage, make investments, develop — these are the watchwords of a 10-year financial growth technique unveiled by Niagara Financial Growth final week.
“At the moment’s an necessary day for financial growth as we current the area’s long-term financial growth technique,” the director of Niagara Financial Growth, George Spezza, informed Niagara Area’s planning and financial growth committee.
“It takes a visionary take a look at Niagara and goals to place actions in place to attain a powerful and sustainable financial system into the longer term.
“The event of the technique was very a lot a collaborative Crew Niagara effort with all of the native space municipalities collaborating within the course of.”
Workers that labored on the report additionally performed in depth outreach and engagement with the group and enterprise teams, companions and regional councillors, in addition to greater than 500 respondents who offered feedback and suggestions, Spezza mentioned.
The technique took 10 months to develop and builds on the Area’s strategic plan for supporting companies and financial development, a report back to council mentioned.
It accommodates six strategic instructions:
- Variety, fairness and inclusion;
- Schooling and workforce assist;
- Enterprise retention and enlargement;
- Inexperienced growth and sustainability;
- Infrastructure and transportation.
Two paperwork accompanied the report for regional councillors — a technique abstract for the broader Niagara group and enterprise teams and a extra detailed 39-page technique report. Information from 2019, the final dependable yr earlier than COVID-19, was used.
Valerie Kuhns, affiliate director for Niagara Financial Growth, mentioned councillors needed the technique developed with out an exterior marketing consultant and a singular Niagara-made method.
The hassle will embrace sector growth and assist for 4 conventional areas: agriculture, manufacturing, skilled providers and tourism.
As well as, Niagara Financial Growth recognized 5 rising sectors in Niagara, together with the movie business, well being care, the marine sector, electrical autos and sports activities tourism.
“The area has a lot to supply the movie business when it comes to distinctive areas throughout all municipalities, and we’re seeing rising curiosity that interprets into jobs, business assist, municipal charges and elevated tourism,” Kuhns mentioned.
“The Niagara 2022 Canada Summer time Video games establishes capability within the area to draw, arrange and run giant sporting occasions sooner or later, contributing to the rising sector of sports activities tourism. The time is correct to think about positioning sport as an financial driver as a part of the energetic financial system.”
Well being care additionally has the potential to change into a hub sooner or later, with a brand new funding plan for West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Grimsby and the longer term south Niagara hospital in Niagara Falls, along with the comparatively latest St. Catharines hospital,” Kuhns mentioned.
The technique takes a long-term view of priorities and actions wanted to attain a powerful and sustainable financial system whereas outlining what actions will information the work of Niagara Financial Growth, the report back to council mentioned.
A lot of the actions transcend the vital features of regional financial growth. They have been developed in collaboration with the native space municipal growth officers in addition to the broader group and enterprise teams, and every motion is given a selected timeline in accordance with its precedence stage.
Financial growth officer Linda Sicoli mentioned the hassle on range, fairness and inclusion goals at encouraging the expansion of companies owned by numerous people and helps the mixing of newcomers, girls, youth and Indigenous peoples into the labor power.
That may be achieved by offering enter and advocacy for workers in areas resembling the supply of regional transit, reasonably priced and out there childcare and reasonably priced housing.
“We hope to extend participation within the labor power from these under-represented teams,” Sicoli mentioned.
Ken Scholtens, supervisor of enterprise growth at Niagara Financial Growth, mentioned the division is concentrated on diversifying Niagara’s totally different sectors.
“We’re taking a look at how we are able to develop a few of our rising sectors being recognized in our financial system proper now,” Scholtens mentioned. “We have recognized a number of rising sectors that I feel can solely profit Niagara to be extra diversified in its financial system as we transfer ahead.”