Community Economic
Development Readiness

Objective: To build the knowledge and capacity to undertake community economic development throughout Huron County
Number of programs/projects: 13
Number of participants: 383
Financial support provided: $34,000


Huron County In The New Rural Economy
This project enabled HBDC to undertake a series of research projects to determine current characteristics of the local economy. University of Guelph researchers provided reports on comparative health of the county's economy; importance of different sectors (e.g. small business, agriculture, tourism) to economic impact of selected programs (e.g. 10 Steps); and an evaluation framework for monitoring ongoing performance of labour market adjustment programs, including Community Futures and HERC. Complete findings of this research have been published in Dynamics of the New Rural Economy, available at HBDC offices in Seaforth.

Huron Park Management Plan
The Ontario Realty Corporation has stated its intention to sell its assets at Huron Park, and approached the local municipality to determine interest in assuming ownership of the complex. In March 2000, the Township of Stephen approached HBDC for support in undertaking the long-term business and management plan for the Park to assess economics of the situation. Proper maintenance of the facilities will have direct bearing on long-term viability of businesses located within the Park. As a result, it behooves local stakeholders such as HBDC to conduct thorough research and investigation, so that decisions are made using the best information available.

Manufacturing Strategic Plan
With manufacturing showing remarkable growth in the 1990s, this project (launched in January 1999) built upon that success by implementing a series of industry-led initiatives for further expansion. A steering committee composed of industry leaders and municipal officials spent a full year identifying common concerns of local manufacturers, as well as opportunities for joint action in several areas. As a result, a Manufacturers' Group launched a 15-point plan of action addressing several key issues, from overcoming skilled labour shortages to the development of e-commerce opportunities. This initiative was the winner of the 2000 Royal Bank Economic Development Program Award in Calgary.

Municipal Economic Development Readiness Initiative
A strong municipal economic development role is crucial to overall prosperity of Huron County's economy. With the dust just starting to settle on local amalgamations, municipal councils throughout the county have turned their attention to economic development. In 2003, HBDC launched the Municipal Economic Development Readiness Initiative to assist municipal leaders as they explore their emerging roles as economic development stakeholders. Among other benefits, this initiative builds on assets and strengths and helps direct a municipal response to the economic opportunities present in the community. To view newsletters and reports from this project, click on the links below:

Action Plan
Best Practices Report

Bluewater Files:
Business - Assessment Growth - Employment - Ind/Comm Assessment - Population - Executive Summary
Goderich:
Business - Assessment Growth - Employment - Ind/Comm Assessment - Population - Executive Summary - General Assessment
Huron East:
Business - Assessment Growth - Employment - Ind/Comm Assessment - Population - Executive Summary
North Huron:
Business - Assessment Growth - Employment - Ind/Comm Assessment - Population - Executive Summary
South Huron:
Business - Assessment Growth - Employment - Ind/Comm Assessment - Population - Executive Summary


Seaforth Business Retention & Expansion Initiative
In 1988, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs designated Seaforth as one of seven pilot communities to launch this new provincial initiative. The Business Retention & Expansion visitation program interviewed local business owners and farmers to determine their satisfaction with doing business in the community and to encourage further expansion. HBDC staff acted as a resource on the steering committee and provided businesses with direct assistance on issues/barriers (e.g. financing, exports, etc.) that were identified. The success of this initiative was recognized provincially and nationally at various conferences.

Sustainable Huron Community Evolution Project
This project addressed the need to develop a better understanding of the nature of Huron County's economy and its long-term sustainability. A systematic approach was designed to monitor, analyze and discuss trends affecting the sustainability of livelihoods and communities within the county. The project identified and developed local indicators that are being monitored to provide information to our associates, funding agencies, business groups, educational institutions, community and municipal leaders. Dissemination and discussion of this information via Web site, newsletters and public workshops has led to community-based strategies for dealing with long-term viability of our communities. To view newsletters and reports from this project, click on the links below:

CEP Intro
CEP Glossary
CEP Final Report
Factbooks:

Agriculture - Business - Community Participation - Economic Well-Being - Employment - Environment - Population - Public Services
Publications/Presentations:
Business Partnerships for Job Creation Newsletter - Myths and Realities of Life in Huron County - Rural Dialogue Presentation - Taking Huron's Vital Signs Presentation