Economic Development and Tourism eNews
Georgina launches interactive business dashboard tool
Georgina’s Economic Development and Tourism office is excited to announce the launch of a new online dashboard tool to help local businesses and prospective investors ease the time-consuming steps of acquiring up-to-date statistics and business information. 

“The Business and Investment Assistant tool will give local businesses and potential investors a snapshot into Georgina’s growing economy with the ability to filter the information they need that relates to their industry,” says Karyn Stone, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism. “Users will be able to obtain essential business planning data which is regularly requested through our office, create reports and make more informed decisions.”

Indicators break down resident demographics, labour force and industry statistics, while the interactive maps allow for sector size and location analysis. The data is current and accurate, automatically pulling from a range of proprietary and public sources, such as Statistics Canada.

Small business entrepreneurs are further supported with how-to business and investment tips such as how to write a business plan and how to apply for licensing and permits. They can easily access local business and investment contacts through the 'Connect' resource. 

“Georgina is poised for growth over the next few years, so we’re thrilled to be able to provide our business community and potential investors with a service tool that eases their business planning and provides new resources to help them grow and thrive.”
Georgina moves forward with Broadband Strategy
The Town of Georgina is developing a Broadband Strategy and Action Plan to ensure all residents and businesses have access to affordable and reliable broadband connectivity options.

“Everyone in our growing community should have access to high-speed internet and we are working toward that goal,” said Mayor Margaret Quirk. “The internet is often referred to as the fourth utility and has become a critical tool in our daily lives. It is essential in today’s economy and necessary for us to continue to grow Georgina’s business community. It shouldn’t matter where you live, our residents and businesses need access to high-speed affordable internet connectivity. It’s a local economic development driver and we need to be competitive in today’s digital world.”

On Feb. 12, Members of Council participated in a workshop which focused on setting direction for the strategy and looked at a vision, guiding principles, top priorities, funding options and the future of the South Shore Community Broadband – a wireless network owned by the Town.
Council agreed on a vision for the plan – all businesses and residents have access to affordable and reliable broadband connectivity options at the service levels they require based on technology advancements, private market forces and funding commitments from senior levels of government.

The top priorities for the plan include connectivity for everyone, leveraging broadband to foster economic development and providing community Wi-Fi in areas such as libraries, tourist destinations and other public facilities. The direction of the strategy and action plan include leveraging private-public partnerships, establishing policies to promote broadband deployment, and earmarking reserve funds to leverage external funding opportunities.

A report will come back to Council on March 25 with a terms of reference for the Broadband Strategy and Action Plan.
Local business sells 65 per cent local products
Twig Garden & Co., nestled in Keswick’s up-and-coming downtown, epitomizes what it means to shop local. With more than 65 per cent of their store selling local artisan goods, they’ve created a name for themselves among the artist community and residents who are looking for unique finds.
The store opened in 2018 when Craig Reynolds, the owner of a landscaping business, decided to stop snow plowing in the winter season. The idea came to open the store because he valued his long-time employees Donah and Danielle, who now had free time in the winter, and because they saw an opportunity – something was missing in Georgina. 
The 2019 holiday season was twice as successful as 2018. Craig credits the success of the store solely to his team, which speaks to the culture they’ve created. Their team is all in, putting in the extra touches like the music and atmosphere to the additional labour required to do inventory on all of their local artisan’s goods monthly. The appreciation from the artisan community and shoppers gives them pride in what they do and it shows. 
What do you think is Georgina’s appeal for small business investors?
“Georgina’s appeal is its small-town feel. Living near the lake allows you to enjoy all the recreation a lakeside town has to offer such as ice fishing, swimming or even a relaxing stroll along Lake Drive. Also, it’s seen as up-and-coming and the commute is short.”
What do you love to do in Georgina?
“Enjoying the lake is the first thing that comes to mind. Also, the diverse culinary options in town – there’s just so much to choose from. We really enjoy the Corner House Bistro – a fine dining restaurant here in Keswick. And, I love taking my nephew to the ROC for the day where he can get outdoors and practise his snowboarding skills.”
Craig and his team clearly love the work/life balance Georgina offers. They’re committed to local and community collaboration, which seems to be one of the key ingredients to their success. If you would like to visit their shop you can find them at 10 The Queensway S., in Keswick’s downtown. Visit their website at  for more details.

Do you have a business idea?
Contact our Economic Development Office at the Town and ask for Sean. We’re here to guide you.
Did you know?
 Georgina has 103 farms and 17,371 acres of farmland.
Georgina's Trades Training Centre working to fill labour gap
The Ontario Government estimates that by 2021, one in five new jobs in Ontario will be in trades-related occupations, with employers already facing a shortage of workers in key sectors. Georgina's Trades Training Inc. (GTTI) is working to develop a solution. Read the article.
York Region's Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector Strategy
York Region’s agriculture and agri-food sector provides approximately 57,000 jobs and contributes $2.7 billion to the economy. Learn more about York Region's Agriculture and Agri-Food Strategy.
Youth Summer Company Program accepting applications
Are you between the ages of 15 to 29, registered to return to school in September and interested in launching your own business? York Small Business Enterprise Centre's Summer Company could be just for you. Participants will receive hands-on training and skills development, coaching, mentorship and the opportunity to receive financial support of up to $3,000. Apply by May 17, 2020. Learn more .
Festival and event grant deadline
Are you planning an event this summer that will have an economic impact in Georgina? If so, you could receive up to $5,000 to cover your costs. Learn more about eligibility and submit your grant application online by March 1, 2020.
Featured properties
Disclaimer: Listings are provided to the Town from brokers, real estate agents, and various real estate websites. The Town of Georgina assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of any information shown, and does not make any representation, warranties or guarantees of any kind in relation to the listings in this e-newsletter or the properties described therein. Please contact the real estate agent or other contact person identified on the listing to verify all information.
Upcoming events
Sign By-law Review Input Session
Times have changed. The Town of Georgina’s current sign by-law was introduced 14 years ago. Since then, there have been changes in sign technology that require the by-law be reviewed. The Town is looking for the public’s input. Business owners are invited to a public open house to share their thoughts on changes to the by-law. It takes place March 3 at the ROC Chalet from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. To learn more, visit .
Streetscape Design Standards Input Session
The Town is looking for your input on Georgina’s Streetscape Design Standards, as they directly affect your business in the way a street is used by both motorists and pedestrians, and create a unique identity to the Town’s downtowns. Join us at the ROC Chalet, 26479 Civic Centre Rd., Keswick on Tues., Feb. 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Georgina Economic Development and Tourism | Website | Subscribe to our Newsletter