Investment Attraction Strategy Approved July 2017
One of the action items contained within the 2016 Economic Strategy was the preparation of the Investment Attraction Strategy. Staff have been working with TD Graham & Associates, a firm who has developed other municipal investment strategies, to research and collaborate with stakeholder groups on how to best position the Town to attract new business investment.
In addition to the creation of marketing materials and website enhancements, including a new URL www.choosegeorgina.ca to direct viewers to this new information on the Town’s website, the strategy outlines the need for a more business-friendly and streamlined approval process when it comes to handling development applications. The overall goal is to ensure that these processes meet the needs of the business community. The development of a “Business Class” program is currently being considered, which would establish clear methodologies in responding to inquiries and processing applications that create employment and increase the non-residential tax assessment.
Through the development of the Investment Attraction Strategy, Council included as one of the top three priorities, the need to review potential opportunities to expedite bringing the Keswick Business Park (Phase 1) lands to market. The development of these lands is important to the ability of the municipality to provide larger sized properties that are zoned to permit a range of industrial, office commercial and ancillary retail/service commercial uses.
To date, the majority of the initiatives undertaken by the Economic Development Division has been focused on Business Retention and Expansion initiatives. With the extension of Highway 404 to Georgina’s southerly border, staff have experienced an increase in the number of inquiries related to the need for industrial/commercial land. “Grow Our Economy” is one of the four goals in the Corporate Strategic Plan. Staff want to ensure that Georgina is top of mind for owners wishing to expand or relocate their business operations, and providing the information that is required for these business owners to make informed business decisions is key to “Getting Down to Business”.