North Grenville – Over the past three months, 84 community businesses had the opportunity to voice their opinions about the local economy as the Municipality of North Grenville progressed through the interview stage of the Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) Program, in cooperation with the North Grenville Chamber of Commerce and the Old Town Kemptville BIA.
The BR+E Program kicked into full gear in March as teams of trained volunteers met with local businesses to gather key information through completing a comprehensive survey. The visits also provided the opportunity to identify the specific needs and concerns of each business and respond to those concerns on an individual basis.
“The visits we undertook with local businesses had four purposes,” said Matt Gilmer, the Municipality’s Economic Development Coordinator. “First, we wanted to show our local businesses that we appreciate the contributions they are making to our local community. Second, we wanted to see if they have any concerns, and, if so, if there are ways we can help. Third, we are offering to help our local businesses take better advantage of business resources. Finally, we wanted the businesses to help us set priorities on future directions of local economic efforts.”
“The face-to-face interviews were essential to getting honest and fulsome feedback from our local business community. We would like to thank all of those businesses who took the time to participate in the interviews and provide input into the future of our economy,” said Kevin O’Dair, North Grenville’s BR+E Coordinator.
The next steps for the BR+E Program are to analyze the data collected through the surveys and hold a “Task Force Retreat” with local business and community leaders to identify key issues and priorities, as well as develop and brainstorm initial action plans. The results of the retreat will provide the basis for a final report and action plan for the project to be considered by Council and incorporated in the Economic Development Program.
This project is funded by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Specific support is through the Eastern Ontario Development Program, delivered locally through the Grenville Community Futures Development Corporation.