Economic Development Committee Strategic Plan May 2011 Purpose The EDC recognized the need to move forward with a set of clearly defined economic development goals; This Strategy is meant to give the EDC focus, define roles, and help them to move forward in a conscious manner; The Strategy is a foundation document and is designed to shift with changing priorities. Mandate The Economic Development Committee’s Mandate is: To explore short- and long-term development strategies; To focus on: Business development, retention and expansion; Tourism; New employment opportunities; Land use and development; Service sector attraction; and Competitiveness issues. To address other issues as requested by the Council of the Township of Ear Falls. Strategic Planning Process Works through the creation of: A Vision Statement A Mission Statement Obstacles Strategic Directions Action Plans Designed to account for diverse opinions; Involves a process of brainstorming, identifying common themes, creating categories, and naming each component. VISION STATEMENT The Ear Falls Economic Development Committee is a community-based organization that will enhance the quality of life in Ear Falls and create a sustainable community. MISSION STATEMENT The Ear Falls Economic Development Committee will support community development and explore diverse socio-economic opportunities in order to enhance quality of life and create sustainability for the community of Ear Falls and surrounding area. OBSTACLES When striving towards their vision for the community, the Ear Falls Economic Development Committee recognizes that… 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The location of Ear Falls makes it difficult to attract economic development opportunities and workers; Resistance to change and negative attitudes stalls progress; A lack of Crown Lands available for waterfront development for businesses and residents prevents growth; A lack of internal and external funding prevents long-term planning; and Inadequate access to skilled workers and training/educational opportunities prevents business retention, attraction and expansion. STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS In order to move towards realizing their vision for Ear Falls, the Economic Development Committee plans to… 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Support business retention and expansion; Attract new business and investment; Strive to retain current residents and encourage attraction; Work to ensure adequate training and educational opportunities are available locally; Keep the community informed and involved in all aspects of community development; Continue to pursue waterfront development; Ensure that serviced residential lots are available; Make youth retention a priority; and Build strong strategic partnerships with neighbouring communities. ACTION PLANS Strategy #1: Support business retention and expansion. Desired Outcome #1: Anticipated Results: Increased influx and circulation of dollars. Necessary Actions: Retain all existing business, expand existing business, where required, and increase sales. Promote “shop local” mentality, especially in retail; Increase marketing efforts in promoting Ear Falls as a yearround tourism destination; Advertise local businesses and service clubs. Measure of Success: Businesses will stay and grow. Strategy #2: Attract new business and investment. Desired Outcome #1: Increase employment in Ear Falls. Anticipated Results: Ear Falls will have all of our objectives considered. Necessary Actions: Find ways to promote existing types of business and expand existing types of business opportunity to new entrepreneurs, including resource-based; Have information that is current and easily available, for investors, as well as a knowledgeable contact available for more information; Provide education and information, locally, regarding start-up, business development, home-based businesses, including funding, marketing, etc.; Identify the needs of the community, the area, and globally; and Look for economic development options, review studies and perhaps hire a consultant to ensure something tangible has been created. Measure of Success: Increased employment, short- and long-term. Strategy #3: Strive to retain current residents and encourage attraction. Desired Outcome #1: Anticipated Results: Slow growth of an established population; and Increased interest in the community. Necessary Actions: Stable or increased population base. Provide and encourage diverse recreation and community programs; look at short-term programming (swimming lessons, kids in the kitchen); Develop residential lots; Encourage rental accommodations; Promote existing amenities to new residents; and Enhance seniors services. Measure of Success: Analysis of census data; Population measures; and Residences occupied. Strategy #4: Work to ensure adequate training and educational opportunities are available locally. Desired Outcome #1: Anticipated Results: Increased level of education and training for the community; More trained people. Necessary Actions: Educated workforce for Ear Falls; “Grow Your Own”; Retention of residents (long-term). Increase communication about existing training and education opportunities (distance education, online course, flexible, low cost); Ask employers what training is needed for employees; Try to provide training locally (source information; potential funding opportunities; use existing resources). Measure of Success: Level of participation; Level of educational attainment; Employer feedback and evaluation process. Strategy #5: Keep the community informed and involved in all aspects of community development. Desired Outcome #1: Anticipated Results: Friendly, happy community that has the input of its members. Necessary Actions: To improve community relations; knowledge and awareness. Develop community pride; create slogan; Distribute newsletters monthly to keep communication accurate; Drop-off Minutes in key locations; Website, billboard, flyers, newspaper, quarterly town meetings; “Jazz it Up”, call on people from the community for input and assistance; Call on members of the community to partake in specific community projects, tasks and events; Improve people skills for town employees and local businesses in the area, as part of orientation. Measure of Success: More people participating in community events; Less Negativity. Strategy #6: Continue to pursue waterfront development. Desired Outcome #1: Anticipated Results: Larger tax base; Increased community involvement and participation; Increase in seasonal residents; Increased spending locally. Necessary Actions: 25 lots developed at Detector Lake. Feasibility study (boundaries); MNR; Increase Municipal boundaries; Public consultations; Advertising; Impact on town resources. Measure of Success: Amount of lots developed; MNR approval; Sales of lots and dollar value; Did it increase local business, spending and interaction? Strategy #7: Ensure that serviced residential lots are available. Desired Outcome #1: Anticipated Results: More serviceable lots; Increased tax base; Additional skilled workers and trades people; Business opportunities. Necessary Actions: Develop one large subdivision with plans for a second one later. Provincial approval, as necessary; Land developers; Cost projections; Public consultation; Determine if there is a need. Measure of Success: Number of lots developed and serviced; Number of homes built and increased assessment. Strategy #8: Make youth retention a priority. Desired Outcome #1: Desired Outcome #2: Increased numbers of youth return to have families or retire; Establish community pride and connection to Ear Falls; Necessary Actions: If the youth leave, they have the possibility to return to Ear Falls to raise their families or retire. Anticipated Results: Youth have a positive experience growing up in Ear Falls. Keep involved in committees, events and activities; Gain knowledge in regards to youth retention; Develop a youth economic development committee; Provide training opportunities that are locally based and encourage youth to return to Ear Falls to work; Facilitate funding and grant ideas and assist in action to fruition. Measure of Success: More youth will return to live and work in the area; Youth and families will get involved and create buy-in. Strategy #9: Build strong strategic partnerships with neighbouring communities. Desired Outcome #1: Anticipated Results: New relationships built; Larger scope for projects; Increased communications and awareness of each others’ needs. Necessary Actions: Strong and productive working relationships with all surrounding communities, businesses and government agencies. Understand the needs of partners, have meaningful, face-to-face interactions; Ongoing meetings and negotiations, develop trust; Networking, information gathering, learning from others. Measure of Success: Partnerships built on trust; Strong information network; Additional resources available. Implementation The implementation of these action items will come as a result of the EDC… Reviewing the Strategic Plan often; Prioritizing and revising Action Items, as necessary; Monitoring Progress; and By being proactive and following through with commitments. Conclusions The Ear Falls Economic Development Committee has the drive to make Ear Falls flourish; The Committee recognized early-on that a plan was needed in order to maintain focus and ensure follow-through; The Committee plans to enhance the quality of life in Ear Falls and create a sustainable community through the pursuit of diverse socioeconomic opportunities and by supporting community development whenever possible. Comments? Questions?