Economic Development Strategy
Brantford Has Completed its Economic Development Strategy
Getting the Public Involved
In order for the City’s new Economic Development Strategy to succeed, the strategy must reflect the values and goals of the residents and business stakeholders that comprise the City. A variety of consultation techniques were used including one-on-one consultations, telephone consultations, focus groups, public information sessions and online feeback throughout the development of the strategy.
Why Do We Need A Strategy?
The City of Brantford has completed its first ever-comprehensive Economic Development Strategy that builds on the City’s strategic plan, “Shaping Our Future” and creates a strategic direction for the economic development and sustainability of our community. The strategy will link directly to other municipal strategies/plans previously approved by City Council.
The strategy was developed to assist with providing the City with a strategic direction to Economic Development for the next 5 years. The strategy provides guidance to the City and contain a detailed implementation plan with identified measurable actions that will set out direction(s) and key priorities for programming.
The Province of Ontario has designated Brantford as an Urban Growth Centre in their growth plans, and anticipates continued high levels of growth over the long term as well as accelerated growth over the next 6-15 years. In light of this projected growth, economic development planning at the local level was required to assess and strategically prepare and position the community for the impact of growth, changing policies and other external factors. As a designated urban growth centre in the provincial growth plan, and given the unprecedented change taking place in the economy, further compounded by the City's current supply of serviced industrial land being inadequate to allow for proper market choice and functioning, it was critical that the City of Brantford embrace an Economic Development Strategy.
The implementation of an effective, comprehensive economic development strategy provides a number of benefits to all those involved with the goal of developing long-term economic prosperity. Given the expected and experienced growth of the community, the strategy provides overall direction, which allows staff to prepare year-to-year work plans.
Traditionally, the municipality has been the prominent developer of serviced industrial lands. As the economy has improved in the past five years, the private sector has taken on a greater role in the local market place. As a result, the City needed to determine whether it still needed to be active in the development of industrial lands or change its focus entirely to that of a facilitation role. A component of the strategy addresses this issue, as well as provides the City with a Land Development Strategy for its remaining un-serviced lands and future direction/role.
What Does The Strategy Include?
The project was comprised of six major components -
- The completion of a comprehensive Community Profile that takes into account historical, current and future trends;
- The completion of a comprehensive five (5) year Economic Development strategy for the City of Brantford that includes short, mid and long-term goals based on a SWOT Analysis approach and an analysis of Industrial Land Development Strategy and recommendations for future direction;
- Identify positioning statements for priority sectors that will form part of the marketing messaging;
- Validation of current delivery model or recommended changes to implement strategy; and,
- Provide a system for performance measures for all identified actions and strategies recommended.
The consultants MHBC Planning and WCM Consulting were retained to complete the strategy in conjunction with staff of the Economic Development Department. A wide range of topics, which include, but are not limited to, the following areas of discussion:
- Overall business climate;
- Business retention/expansion issues in targeted sectors;
- Competitiveness of community and specific sectors;
- Future Employment land requirements and availability;
- Infrastructure Capacity;
- Workforce skills and availability;
- Operational Strengths and Weaknesses of Community;
- Current and Potential Markets;
- Supply/Demand Chains;
- Educational Institutions;
- Investment Potential and Environment;
- Residential Service Needs;
- Quality of Life of Residents;
- Brantford’s Downtown;
- Support Networks;
- Boundary Expansion;
- Ontario’s Places to Grow Legislation;
- Local Tourism;
- Arts & Culture and,
- Future of Brantford Economic Development.
If you require more information please contact us at:
City of Brantford Economic Development & Tourism Dept.
Visitor and Tourism Centre
399 Wayne Gretzky Parkway
Brantford, Ontario, N3R 8B4
Toll Free: 800.563.9900
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