The 2014-2018 term of Council is bringing new faces and a new focus to economic development at the City of Brampton.
In the very first Economic Development Committee meeting of this term, Committee Chair Councillor Jeff Bowman and Vice-Chair Councillor Doug Whillans turned the focus to setting out key, measurable indicators around which to build programs (see sidebar Economic Development Committee Intended Outcomes 2014-2018). These outcomes are the standard against which the merit of all economic development activities are to be judged.
“We’re focussed on results-based activities,” says Councillor Bowman. “After more than 25 years in business, I know that if you can’t measure it, you can’t achieve it. The intended outcomes of the Economic Development Committee are measurable and relevant.”
Economic Development Committee Intended Outcomes 2014-2018
1. Economic growth and vitality:
a. Business and employment growth
b. Increased domestic and foreign investment
c. Generate wealth and prosperity
d. Increase assessment/tax revenue
2. Positive business climate and business experiences
3. Positive business profile and city image as an investment location
4. Monitor and measure economic performance and results
From these Council-approved priorities, a series of themes (see sidebar Economic Development Themes for Discussion) have been identified. The intention is to take these pieces and evolve a defined economic development strategy in April of this year.
“The key to this process is community engagement.” says Councillor Bowman. “Mayor Jeffrey has called for enhanced partnerships between the City and the Brampton business community, and we’re doing just that.”
In addition to a feedback workshop with Economic Development staff, more than 200 invitations were sent out to business leaders in Brampton, inviting them to a workshop on March 2 to participate in the development of economic strategy. Economic Development representatives will facilitate the session to engage Brampton’s business expertise, and get input on the Committee’s intended outcomes and themes.
Economic Development Themes for Discussion
1. Downtown and Queen Street Corridor business growth initiatives
2. Business engagement – grow business from within
3. Support advocacy for infrastructure expansion
4. Innovation and entrepreneurship
5. International and domestic business investment/attraction
6. Business climate and city image
7. Festivals and special events
“Our goal is to come out of this process with a strategy that all key players have helped create,” says Councillor Bowman. “That way everyone can actively participate in achieving it, and collectively share in Brampton’s economic success.”
The renewed focus on economic development is evident even in the status of the Economic Development Committee. Previously deemed a sub-committee, it is now one of only four Standing Committees – reporting directly to Council and representing the highest profile a municipality can give to a committee. Additionally, all Members of Council sit on the Economic Development Committee.
The City wants to keep the conversation on economic development going, and has set up a short at survey
to help capture your input. Additionally, you can send your feedback by email to firstname.lastname@example.org