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January 2018 - Happy New Year
GE already producing spin-off
Mayor Campion
Mayor Frank Campion_ seen in his office Thursday_ December 21_ said the city is not shy when it comes to telling developers and investors what the city has to offer. Dave Johnson _Welland Tribune

Welland's keys to success are its aggressiveness, its willingness to keep potential investors engaged and not looking elsewhere, its incentive programs and having land serviced and ready to go, says Frank Campion. 

"We're not shy," says the mayor. He says the president of GE Canada remarked that's one of the reasons the company decided to move to the Rose City in 2016. 

"We were in very stiff competition for GE ... we were able to land them because of our incentive programs and having serviced land available. We weren't being considered at all and then it was like, 'What's going on with Welland?' We essentially stole GE from Quebec and some other Ontario municipalities." 

Campion says that was really the catalyst for the city's successes and growth last year.

GE plant moving along well
GE Plant moving along well
This aerial file photo shows work continuing on GE_s Welland Brilliant Factory_ on the west side of Highway 140 between Buchner Road and Silverthorn Street. After a recent tour_ Mayor Frank Campion said work is moving at a good pace at the facility. GE Canada_Supplied photo

Construction of GE's Welland Brilliant Factory is moving at a fast and furious pace, says Mayor Frank Campion.

"I was there two weeks ago. It's amazing how quickly it's being put together," Campion said of the 45,000-square-metre facility under construction in Harry Diffin Industrial Park on the west side of Highway 140 between Buchner Road and Silverthorn Street.

The mayor said he's been to the site a few times now, starting with when the concrete foundation was poured and when walls were being assembled.

His latest visit saw him tour inside the facility, where at least 300 people were working.

Mr. Mikes steakhouse a 'home-run'
mr mikes
Greg Smith_ left_ and one of his three partners_ Mike Gowan_ are excited to have officially opened Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Casual in Welland. Michelle Allenberg_Welland Tribune

Wellanders now have another choice when it comes to dining out.

Mr. Mikes Steakhouse Casual has been serving up medium-rare orders on Niagara Street near Seaway Mall since opening Nov. 21. The Welland location is the chain's first to open in Ontario.

Mike Gowan and his two brothers, Paul Gowan and Don Gowan, partnered with their friend Greg Smith to open the restaurant. The four partners are longtime Welland residents and have a deep connection to the people and community.

Rick Villalpando, vice-president of business development, said the Mr. Mikes team felt the four men were a perfect fit for the franchise. When looking to branch out,  Villalpando said, the franchise looks for small towns with people who are deeply rooted in their community - Welland felt like the perfect place.

Miniwargaming making a move
From left_ co-owners of MiniWarGaming Inc._ Dave Nordquist and Matthew Glanfield hold props in one of the company_s studios Tuesday. Michelle Allenberg_Tribune Staff

This army is on the march.

MiniWarGaming Inc., co-owners Matthew Glandfield and David Nodquist have big plans for their business.

The company was awarded the 2017 Business of the Year during the Welland and Pelham Chamber of Commerce Ruby Awards. Nodquist and Glandfield create YouTube videos and provide information about the table top strategy game Miniature War Games. The strategy game is a type of role-play game that incorporates figurines, landscapes, and additional props, in miniature size.

New court facility opens in Welland
new court facility
Niagara Regional councillor_ Paul Grenier_ left_ Regional Chair Alan Caslin and Welland Mayor Frank Campion toured the new Niagara Provincial Offences Court Facility on East Main Street in Welland Tuesday. Michelle Allenberg_Tribune Staff

After 17 months of construction, Niagara's Provincial Offences Court Facility opened Monday on East Main Street in Welland.

The facility, at the former Empire public school site, was completed under budget and on time - the cost was $12.4 million. The building was constructed to replace the older court facilities in Welland and Niagara Falls which were closed last Thursday, Oct 19. The former buildings were rented by Niagara Region, but the new facility is owned by the the Region.

Welland and Niagara Region climb open data ranks
Welland Mayor Frank Campion

Want to know where all the parking meters are in Welland? How about what kind of trees there are and where there are? 

Information about construction activity, bus routes, city parks, cemeteries, marriage licences? 

Mayor Frank Campion said that data is available and it makes the city more open and transparent. "We're providing what we would classify as usable data, making it available to anyone who wants to look at it," Campion said. 

All of that open data saw Welland move up 37 places - from 57th to 20th - on Public Sector Digest's 2017 Open Cities Index, earning it a most improved accolade.

Welland's growth discussed at roundtable
Welland logo
Developers, investors and real estate agents heard about Welland's growth and economic activity, as well as programs and incentives that support development, during a roundtable meeting Thursday at city hall. 

The meeting, similar to one held in April 2016, was hosted by Mayor Frank Campion and senior city staff, including Dan Degazio, director of economic development, and CAO Gary Long.

 In a release, the city said the mayor and staff heard issues and concerns brought forward by the development community and discussed current real estate trends and building activity in Welland and Niagara. 

"We value our working relationships with investors and developers and appreciate having their feedback as well as the confidence they've shown by contributing to the growth and long-term prosperity of Welland," said Campion in the release.

Dan Degazio, Director of Economic Development
Corporation of the City of Welland
905-735-1700 ext 2110 or 1-800-735-3771 
Fax: 905-735-1543 
About Us:
City of Welland
Economic Development Office
60 East Main St.
Welland, Ontario
L3B 3X4
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