Midhurst/June 14, 2019 – Area partners, including the County of Simcoe, the cities of Barrie and Orillia, Grey County, Bruce County, Georgian College, Nottawasaga Futures Community Development Corporation and South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre, have been recognized by Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) as the 2019 winner of the Multi-Community with a Population over 100,000 award.

In 2018, this group of municipalities and organizations conducted in-depth analysis of the current economic climate for agricultural/agri-food businesses in our region. In total, more than 270 interviews collecting over 800,000 data points were conducted with a view to create a regional action plan for the area that could assist with local economic development efforts. Through this extensive engagement, area partners gleaned vital insights into the expansion plans of local agricultural/agri-food businesses as well as the main driving factors and barriers to business expansion in our region. Findings from the study were announced in November 2018.

On June 6, 2019, the success of the 2018 Simcoe, Grey and Bruce Agriculture and Agri-Food Value Chain Business Retention & Expansion Study was officially recognized at the BREI Annual Conference. To learn more about the Agriculture and Agri-Food Value Chain Business Retention & Expansion Study and for a copy of the Final Trends Report, please visit simcoe.ca/agri-foodstudy.

About Business Retention and Expansion International

BREI is the leading professional association for business retention and expansion, a fundamental strategy for economic sustainability and growth. They represent professionals in the economic development field from across the globe in order to educate, train, and promote best practices for increasing economic activity and growth in both urban and rural areas.

Quotes

“I would like to congratulate all the area partners that participated in the Business Retention and Expansion Study on winning this prestigious international award. Thanks to this extensive research, the County is better able to plan and deliver targeted funding to develop local businesses and stimulate our growing economy. We now know that 83 per cent of the respondents had a good or excellent overall impression of doing business in their local municipality, which shows that we’re on the right path as we continue to build made in Simcoe County solutions and strategies.” – County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell

“Agriculture has deep roots in Grey County and continues to play a pivotal role in our regional economy. A lot of passion and energy went into the Business Retention and Expansion study and I’m incredibly proud to see this project, and the people behind it, recognized for their excellent work. Congratulations to everyone involved.”- Grey County Warden Selwyn Hicks

“Congratulations to the project team and partners on winning this very well-deserved award. Barrie is surrounded by agricultural producers and is home to food and beverage processors and distributors, including several micro-breweries. The Agriculture and Agri-food project has encapsulated the input of the regional industry from the growers to end consumers, and provides us with recommendations on how to best provide meaningful support within this broader value chain.”- Mayor Jeff Lehman, City of Barrie

“The City of Orillia is pleased to be a partner on this important project and congratulates the team on its achievement. Orillia has a long tradition of positive connections to the surrounding agricultural business community and we continue to work on strengthening those relationships through initiatives such as this one. By working together with our partners, we have gained valuable insight into how we can support this vital industry moving forward.” – Mayor Steve Clarke, City of Orillia

Partial funding for this project has been provided by the Province of Ontario through the Rural Economic Development Program. Additional funding for this project has been provided by the County of Simcoe, Grey County, Bruce County, the City of Barrie, the City of Orillia, Georgian College, Nottawasaga Futures Community Development Corporation and South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre.

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Chris Hedley
Public Relations Consultant
County of Simcoe, Services Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 ext. 1030
705-715-7654 (mobile)
Chris.Hedley@simcoe.ca

Collin Matanowitsch
Manager, Public Relations
County of Simcoe, Services Simcoe Branch
705-726-9300 ext. 1430
705-734-8386 (mobile)
Collin.Matanowitsch@simcoe.ca