September 2020
Your monthly news & updates
Multi-Ministry Virtual Event
Join the Western Ontario Wardens' Caucus and the Ministry of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade in a knowledge sharing event.

Meet representatives from four different ministries and learn how as Economic Developers we can connect into each ministry.

Ministries that will be represented at this session include; Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

To register click here
Site Selection Names Canada's Best Locations 
Site Selection’s Canadian Competitiveness Award recognizes Ontario as the most competitive province in a competitive nation, followed by Alberta and Québec. And Windsor Essex Economic Development and Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership fill Site Selection’s annual list of top Canadian economic development groups.

“The annual Canada’s Best Locations feature sheds additional light on Canada’s many location options for corporate site selectors," says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection. "We salute the provinces and communities that made this year’s rankings.”

Ontario Supports Municipalities with Critical Infrastructure Investments
The Ontario government is investing more than $4.2 million through the Regional Development Program to support important infrastructure projects in the County of Simcoe, the Town of Tillsonburg and the City of Sarnia. These investments will help attract local investment and create jobs as the province starts down the path to renewal, growth and economic recovery.

Ontario is providing $1.5 million for the County of Simcoe to invest in the widening of the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport runway from 100 ft to 150 ft.

Ontario is providing more than $1.2 million for the Town of Tillsonburg to build and develop the Van Norman Innovation Park, which will give the region a competitive advantage in attracting new investment. 

Ontario is providing $1.5 million for the City of Sarnia to build an oversized load corridor that will increase capacity of the Port of Sarnia and surrounding road networks. 

To support regional priorities and challenges, the RDP provides cost-shared funding to municipalities and economic development organizations to help communities attract investment, diversify their economies, and plan for long-term sustainability. 

Regional Relief and Recovery Fund

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) was a huge help to all businesses in the Western Region of Ontario. The number of businesses that the CFDCs were able to help with this fund was truly amazing. 

All the hard work our CFDCs put into ensuring that the money was delivered cannot go unmentioned.

Thank you to all for your hard work and dedication to your business communities. Believing in the value SMEs bring to communities all over is what makes the Community Futures Program one of the driving forces behind rural success. 

Ontario’s rural employment gap due to COVID-19 has narrowed almost completely  
A new special issue of Focus on Rural Ontario entitled COVID-19 Impact on Rural Employment: Ontario in the Canadian context up to August 2020 highlights that by August 2020 the gap between August 2019 levels of employment had narrowed to a mere -0.6%. 

Rural Ontario’s COVID-19 employment gap has been closing slowly over the last two months after bouncing back more strongly from May to June. In August, 2020, rural and small town employment in Ontario increased by 1.5%. 
This increase was outpaced by increases in employment levels in the larger urban centres in Ontario which went up by 2.1%. However, the “gap” when compared to the level of employment in August, 2019, was still relatively wide at -6.3% in larger urban centres compared to the -0.6% in rural and small town areas. 

To read the full report click here.
WOCFDCA Welcomes New Executive Director Lee Gould
Lee Gould joins Western Ontario Community Futures Development Corporation Association (WOCFDCA) as Executive Director at an exciting time as the organization continues to mature and grow, and deliver on its mandate to support the twenty CFDC offices located throughout Southwestern Ontario.
Lee’s three decades of experience as a not-for-profit leader will prove invaluable. “Having worked successfully with a broad range of industries and stakeholders I’ve been gifted so many opportunities through the relationships I’ve managed to build and grow” said Lee. “As a results-oriented leader I have been able to support organizations and their Members by helping bring knowledge and experience to governance, marketing, advocacy and business development goals”.
Under Lee’s leadership, the professional team at WOCFDCA will seek to strengthen the relationships with key stakeholders and seek opportunities that enhance the Association’s work.
At present the WOCFDCA offices in Brantford are closed to the public because of COVID-19 but Lee and his team of dedicated professionals are readily accessible by phone and email.