201 0BUSI NESSPLAN
Preamble to NEDC 2010 Business Plan It is important to provide a context to the 2010 Business Plan for NEDC and Tourism Niagara. First of all, NEDC is the economic development agency for the Region of Niagara. Consequently, all of our annual initiatives are directly related to the implementation of Regional Council’s Business Plan 2007-2011 and their Economic Growth Strategy 2009-2012. Ultimately our activities as an economic development agency are targeted at making Niagara more competitive in the marketplace as a region for investment, visiting, and living. Secondly, to achieve the goals set out in these strategies and plans, NEDC focuses on investment marketing (also called investment attraction) as a key mandated function. In 2009 and now in the 2010 plan, marketing initiatives play an even more important role than ever, and most of our economic development resources are dedicated to bringing more investment leads to the region. We also consider very important, and in 2010 have enhanced, the Business Retention and Expansion (BR & E) role with the seven municipalities that do not have dedicated municipal economic development offices. High priorities for the year include facilitating supply chain opportunities for existing Niagara manufacturers, and generating Green Energy/Technology investment leads. Tourism marketing and product development is the final major component of NEDC’s role . For 2010, the Ontario and Quebec markets continue as priorities along with new product development and packaging of “Sports Tourism.” In 2010 this function could be significantly affected if and how the Province of Ontario establishes a new tourism structure in the province. Thirdly, all of our activities are carried out in partnerships with other public, private, and not-forprofit organizations. These partners are located in Niagara, Ontario, Canada and the United States depending on the particular initiative. In some cases these partnerships include financial support (both ways), and in other cases we are leveraging our respective experience and expertise to achieve mutual goals. Finally, we believe the role and initiatives of NEDC and Tourism Niagara to be more important than ever in 2010. We are positioning Niagara as a part of the “new economy” which will emerge from the current recession. As companies begin to expand from within Niagara, and companies outside Niagara begin making new investments across North America, we want Niagara to become one of those regions that is a “must consider” location.
Dennis Parass Chair, Board of Directors
Patrick Gedge Chief Executive Officer
Federal and Provincial Partners
Government of Canada
Government of Ontario
Ministry of Tourism
Canadian Trade Commissioners Service
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Ministry of Economic Development and Trade
Minis try of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Bicentennial of War of 1812 Legacy Council
Bi-national Tourism Association
Golden Horseshoe BioScience Network
Grape Growers of Ontario
Greater St. Catharines Niagara Accommodatio n Partners
Grimsby Chamber of Commerce
Toronto/Niagara 2015 Pan Am Games
Niagara Convention Civic Centre
Niagara Falls Small Business Enterprise Centre
Niagara Golf Trail
Niagara Immigrant Employment Council
Niagara Industrial Association
Ontario/Niagara Growers Association
Niagara Parks Commission
Niagara Workforce Planning Board
Niagaraâ€™s Finest Inns
Niagara-on-the Lake Chamber of Commerce
Ontario Technology Corridor (London, Kitchener, Waterloo, GTMA, Ottawa)
Osprey Media Group Inc.
Southern Ontario Gateway Council
St. Catharines Enterprise Centre
Niagara Association of Realtors
The Greenbelt Foundation
Twenty Valley Tourism Association
Vineland Growers Co-op
Vineland Research & Innovation Centre
Wine Council of Ontario
Wineries of Niagara-on-the Lake
World Trade Centre Buffalo Niagara
Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................ 3 1.0
BACKGROUND ..................................................................................................... 6 1.1 Structure of the Business Plan ......................................................................................... 6 1.2 NEDC Vision and Mission ................................................................................................. 6 1.3 Niagara Economic Growth Strategy ................................................................................ 7 1.4 Niagara Regional Economy: An Economy in Transition ................................................... 9
NEDC 2010 BUSINESS PLAN ............................................................................ 12 2.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 12 2.2 Building a Stronger Collective Voice ................................................................................ 13 2.3 Create a Competitive Business Environment ................................................................... 14 2.4 Improve Transportation and Related Infrastructure ..................................................... 17 2.5 Market Niagara ................................................................................................................ 19 2.5.1 Economic Development Marketing .............................................................................. 21 2.5.2 NEDC Brand and Product Marketing............................................................................. 23 2.6 Target Strategic Employers .............................................................................................. 28 2.6.1 Existing Industry Sectors ............................................................................................... 28 2.6.2 Emerging Industry Clusters ............................................................................................ 39 2.7 Niagara’s Talent Pool ..................................................................................................... 47
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPI‟s) .................................................. 49 3.1 Overview ........................................................................................................................ 49 3.2 NEDC Key Performance Indicators ................................................................................ 51 3.2.1 Economic Development................................................................................................. 51 3.2.2 Tourism .......................................................................................................................... 52 3.2.3 Corporate....................................................................................................................... 52
APPENDICES .................................................................................................................. 53 1.0
APPENDIX A: Economic Characteristics of Niagara ........................................... 53 1
1.1 The Niagara Region........................................................................................................ 53 1.2 The Niagara Economy .................................................................................................... 53 1.3 Public Policy Context-- Provincial and Federal .............................................................. 57
APPENDIX B: Industry Sector Overviews ........................................................... 60 2.1 Manufacturing in Transition .......................................................................................... 60 2.2 Tourism .......................................................................................................................... 64 2.3 Agriculture and Agribusiness ......................................................................................... 68 2.4 Business Services ........................................................................................................... 71 2.5 Culture ........................................................................................................................... 73
APPENDIX C: Emerging Industry Clusters .......................................................... 76 3.1 Harnessing Niagaraâ€™s Higher Education System ............................................................ 76 3.2 Economic Cluster Development .................................................................................... 77 3.2.1 Green Economy ............................................................................................................. 78 3.2.2 Bio-products Manufacturing ......................................................................................... 80 3.2.3 Digital/Interactive Media............................................................................................... 81 3.2.4 Health and Wellness ...................................................................................................... 81 3.2.5 Expanding Other Potential Clusters............................................................................... 82
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The 2010 Business Plan for Niagara Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) is the most comprehensive and detailed plan developed for the organization. It is lengthy because it ties together the Niagara economy with the role that NEDC plays to support and facilitate growth. It is detailed because it is important that the organization is transparent in both what it does as well as why it does it. The Business Plan is based on and supportive of the following strategic documents approved by the Regional Council of Niagara: Regional Council Business Plan 2007 – 2011 Navigating Our Future: Niagara‟s Economic Growth Strategy 2009-2012 CAO Report 2-2009 Integrated Work Plan for Economic Growth Strategy The primary purpose of the Business Plan is to set forth a plan that supports and implements the major thrusts of the Niagara Economic Growth Strategy. NEDC will continue to align its Business Plan with emerging Regional priorities. The Plan is updated on an annual basis and continues to reflect the economic development objectives stated in the documents referenced above. With respect to CAO Report CAO 10-2007, supported by Regional Council, “NEDC will lead and be the significant funder on external marketing (business attraction, investment marketing) and branding for Niagara.” In terms of the Regional Council Business Plan, NEDC programs strongly support several strategies including: Economic Prosperity Niagara region will become a prime destination for investment and encourage the growth of a diversified and sustainable economic base. Proactive Marketing and Communications Niagara Region will have a consistent and compelling message of our interests and needs for the community to be a great place in which to live, study, work, visit, and invest. The Business Plan both builds on previous work undertaken by NEDC and its partners and introduces new activities to expand the external marketing of Niagara.
More specifically the plan leverages the existing strengths of Niagara in manufacturing, agriculture, redevelopment, and tourism and includes both the investment marketing of Niagara and Business Retention and Expansion (BR & E) in communities without economic development offices. The plan also focuses on the “new economy” of Niagara, which is undergoing a major transition. After much work and particularly collaboration with Brock University and Niagara College, new economic clusters are a major focus of investment marketing. The four clusters are Biomanufacturing; Digital/Interactive Media; Environmental, Energy and other “green” Technologies; and Health and Wellness and Life Sciences, all of which have been incorporated into the revised Niagara Economic Growth Strategy 2009-2012. This plan identifies initiatives in support of these four sectors, but the predominant marketing focus in 2010 will be Green Energy. The tourism industry is also undergoing change and competition for visitors, especially longer-stay, and will continue to be fierce. The recommendations of the “Ontario Tourism Competitiveness” were released in 2009 and are currently being reviewed by the province and industry in Niagara. NEDC will need to take into account the provincial actions being implemented as a result, and make changes as necessary to increase our competitiveness. To increase our competitiveness, NEDC continues to strongly advocate for strategic transportation infrastructure improvements and investments throughout Niagara. In particular, NEDC will focus on efforts related to the Federal-Provincial Gateways and Corridors initiatives now under way, as well as related initiatives such as the Niagara to GTA Corridor and the Gateway Economic Zone and Centre, with the clear objective of raising the profile of Niagara as a primary economic gateway to Ontario and Canada. The “NIAGARA ORIGINAL” brand platform, which was developed in 2008 and taken to market in 2009, will position the marketing and messaging of Niagara. This will build consistency and focus in both the domestic and international marketplace. In addition to marketing, NEDC will continue to support BR&E work done by the larger municipalities and increase its BR&E role with the other seven municipalities, which includes regular meetings with the municipalities, company calls, and individual initiatives based on their specific needs. In summary, the 2010 Business Plan positions Niagara and NEDC to be successful within an increasingly competitive marketplace. Communities must be aggressive in their development and implementation of new investment strategies. This business plan increases the Corporation‟s sophistication and flexibility in responding to the complexities and shifting of the new economy. It accelerates the transition from working as a traditional economic development organization to becoming a more focused investment marketing corporation. Noticeable shifts in direction include:
An increased investment marketing focus on new growth sectors where Niagara has competitive advantages. This reflects the shift that is taking place in Niagara‟s industrial structure from traditional to advanced manufacturing in growth sectors and from large to small- and medium-sized employers. Leveraging the brand platform of Niagara, which differentiates us in the marketplace. Ensuring Niagara‟s competitive advantage by addressing major limitations, in particular those related to transportation infrastructure. Measurement and tracking of results. In summary, NEDC is continuing to align it programs with Regional Council‟s Business Plan and the Niagara Economic Growth Strategy and is aggressively marketing Niagara as an international gateway and prime location for investment in targeted sectors.
1.0 BACKGROUND 1.1 Structure of the Business Plan The NEDC business plan provides in-depth background based upon the work carried out over the past number of years and the “building blocks” that have been put in place. These building blocks include thorough analyses of the economy and its various sectors, early experience in marketing Niagara internationally, a multi-year Economic Growth Strategy, identification of future economic clusters, and finally a brand platform to carry the message. The plan is structured into the following: Executive Summary Background NEDC 2010 Business Plan - Specific actions to be undertaken by NEDC to contribute to the successful implementation of the NEDC Business Plan and the Niagara Economic Growth Strategy Key Performance Indicators Appendices: o Economic Characteristics of Niagara o Industry Sector Overviews o Emerging Industry Clusters 1.2 NEDC Vision and Mission Vision: Niagara Canada is a prosperous, diversified, and sustainable regional economy. Mission: To promote, advocate, and facilitate Niagara‟s business and tourism growth and competitiveness. We Value: The betterment of our communities brought about by innovative economic growth. 6
The dreams, aspirations, and entrepreneurial spirit of individuals and corporations that make investments in Niagara. A balance of economic, environmental, and social considerations in the formulation of public policy that guides economic development. Innovative partnerships and extensive collaboration required to make great things happen. Great leadership. Our Operating Principles: NEDC is a strategy-driven organization. Niagaraâ€&#x;s Economic Growth Strategy and Councilâ€&#x;s Business Plan lay out the major priority areas that are to be addressed over the next five years. The NEDC Business Plan operationalizes the Economic Growth Strategy on a year-to-year basis. Both documents have been developed in consultation with a diverse group of stakeholders. Quality data is vital for developing effective strategies but even more important to those making large-scale investment decisions. NEDC is committed to acquiring, synthesizing, and sharing all information necessary to support good decision making. NEDC values all individuals and companies that are contemplating major investments in the Niagara region and recognizes the complexity of the investment decision making process. As such, NEDC is committed to delivering its services in a professional, comprehensive, and customized client-focused manner. Partnerships are part of everything that we do. NEDC is committed to financial responsibility and accountability. NEDC shall be bold and highly visible in the advancement of Niagaraâ€&#x;s economy. 1.3 Niagara Economic Growth Strategy In August 2004, Regional Council endorsed a proposal to bring together representatives of the private and public sectors to develop an Economic Growth Strategy for Niagara. Council identified the Niagara Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) as the lead agency to coordinate overall strategy development. To oversee the development of the Strategy, Council established the Niagara Economic Growth Strategy Steering Committee (EGS), co-chaired by a leading industrialist and a council-appointed designate. The Steering Committee included leaders from business, government, and community organizations. 7
To place Niagara in a provincial growth context, NEDC undertook a comprehensive review of the region‟s economic performance compared with other jurisdictions using key economic indicators. Performance measures included regional Gross Domestic Product, population and employment trends, income and education levels, and industry concentration measures of all major economic sectors. This objective information became the basis of consultation with over 200 public- and private-sector stakeholders. Facilitated SWOT analysis and intensive discussions concluded with the Steering Committee identifying major themes and directions for the regional economy. The strategy was presented to and approved by Regional Council in April 2005. The original pillars continue to provide direction to the development of an integrated growth strategy for Niagara‟s economy and communities: Build a Stronger Collective Voice Create a Competitive Business Environment Target Strategic Employers Improve Transportation and Related Infrastructure Re-Brand Niagara Develop Niagara‟s Talent Pool Action steps were identified for each priority direction. The Strategy was synthesized and released to the wider regional community as, Navigating Our Future: Niagara‟s Economic Growth Strategy 2005-2010. The Economic Growth Strategy has become one of the primary instruments that aligns development plans and policies of Regional Niagara with the business investment, retention, and expansion initiatives needed to ensure continued economic growth. It provides a framework to guide the economic planning policies and the development thrust of the Niagara Region‟s Business Plan 2007-2011 and the Niagara Growth Management Strategy 2031. Since its inception, the Economic Growth Strategy has been one of the benchmarks for evaluating the performance of the Niagara economy. It has been the underlying focal point of many diverse events and activities including the regional Niagara Economic Forums in 2006 and 2008. The development of the strategy has occurred against a background of provincial policy directions outlined in Ontario‟s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which includes the Niagara region. The strategy‟s economic priorities for Niagara‟s future, and its alignment with provincial strategies for growth, continue to provide assurance to both the provincial and federal governments that Niagara has a vision for its future and an implementation plan that is grounded in an in-depth analysis of its assets, strengths, and growth plans for the future. The strategy has become the primary blueprint for assessing the priorities, scope, and financial requirements needed by the Niagara Economic Development Corporation, in 8
partnership with local municipalities, to brand and promote the regionâ€&#x;s assets as well as launch domestic and international investment marketing programs for Niagara. At the Niagara Economic Forum in April 2008, attended by some 200 stakeholders, the directions of the strategy were re-affirmed. The pillars guiding the action strategy were examined and refined to reflect suggested changes and to capture new information on the regional economy since the release of the strategy in 2005. An updated growth strategy was presented to, and approved by, Regional Council in April 2009. 1.4 Niagara Regional Economy: An Economy in Transition The Regional Municipality of Niagara is located in the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario and is bounded by Lakes Erie and Ontario, Western New York State to the east, and the City of Hamilton to the west. Its 12 municipalities - five cities, five towns, and two townships - have a combined population of approximately 430,000. The region is strategically located through highway, rail, marine, telecommunication connections, and trade corridors that link Niagara continentally and to the global marketplace. The Niagara border is the second-busiest border crossing between Canada and the U.S. More than 15 percent of all bi-national trade in goods between Canada and the United States passes through four vehicle and two rail border crossings into Western New York State and then on to established trade corridors. Traditionally manufacturing in Niagara has been focused primarily on transportation equipment and automotive related industries. As this sector has declined over the last few years, Niagara companies have worked to diversify into new areas of manufacturing. Investment in new technology and training has taken place. Emerging manufacturing industries with projected growth in North America, for example, alternative energy, offer new opportunities. The establishment of the Niagara Industrial Association demonstrates companiesâ€&#x; willingness to work together to strengthen the supply chain within the region as well as collaborating in bids for larger contracts. Manufacturing remains an important focus of our strategy as it represents 30 percent of total revenue and 26 percent of total payroll in the region (Statistics Canada 2006). The shift from traditional to advanced manufacturing in our business plan reflects the change taking place within the market.
Green Technology – Wind Energy The global wind power market had an annual growth rate of 29 percent over the last 10 years. The North American market showed its strongest growth in 2007/2008. European countries are about 10 years ahead of North America in developing their domestic markets, technologies, and manufacturing capabilities. Consequently, most wind turbines are being imported from Europe. High transportation costs, exchange rate exposure, and a stable market in North America with tremendous growth provide a window of opportunity for industrialized regions close to major wind farm developments to attract investment and jobs. The Niagara region is ideally situated in the Great Lakes area which has one of the strongest wind patterns in North America. Large wind turbine manufacturing requires heavy industrial capabilities including forging, casting, and machining components, all of which are strengths in Niagara. The Welland Canal provides the means of transporting larger components that could not go by road or rail. The current window of opportunity will not be open for long as companies are in the process of making long-term decisions on establishing a North American presence. Enabling legislation, such as the Ontario Green Energy Act, and financial stimulus packages in the U.S. are also encouraging investments to be made now. Bio-Products Bioproducts has been identified as an emerging sector within the Niagara Region‟s economic growth strategy, with potential for new growth and investment. In addition to illustrating the emerging strength of the bioeconomy in Niagara, the recent Bioeconomy Industry Development Opportunities for Niagara Final Report (2008) also documents the region‟s considerable advancements in related research and development in this field, which represents a significant competitive advantage for Niagara‟s investment marketing efforts. Work being undertaken by NEDC involves the documentation and identification of regional bioproduct sector concentrations, biomass inventories (raw materials), and the development of opportunities in partnership with both private- and public-sector partners. Digital Interactive Media Digital Interactive Media is an evolving high-growth industry with strong potential in Niagara. Although the region is home to a few high-profile companies including Silicon Knights, there are also a number of small entrepreneurial companies with diverse interests and skills across the industry. In addition, both Brock University and Niagara College are committed to the sector through their programming. nGen, the Niagara Interactive Media Generator, of which NEDC is a founding partner, acts as an incubator to assist small companies and is a focal point for collaboration.
The sector in Niagara is also integrated with the activity in Ontario through links with academic, industry, and funding bodies. Our marketing efforts are strengthened by our involvement with the Ontario Technology Corridor. This is a partnership of six communities plus the province of Ontario, geographically covering Ottawa, Kitchener/Waterloo, London, Toronto, and Niagara. These trends are transforming the Niagara economy, and net growth continues to take place. However, Niagara‟s overall economic performance, from a benchmarking perspective, continues to lag faster-growing regional or municipal economies. Most of these faster-growing communities are found along major highway systems such as the “401 Corridor,” demonstrating the importance of transportation infrastructure as a key component of economic growth. Strengthening Niagara‟s comparative performance and therefore the competitive attractiveness of the region over other regions requires a sustained long-term effort. This is the challenge and ultimate goal of the economic growth strategy. Please see Appendices attached for a more detailed examination of Niagara‟s economy.
2.0 NEDC 2010 BUSINESS PLAN 2.1 Introduction The Business Plan for NEDC is grounded in the research and analysis of the Niagara economy. As indicated earlier, NEDC‟s specific plans are directly tied to the nature and opportunities presented by the existing structure of the economy. Secondly, it is critical to have clear strategies. These strategies provide a long-term guideline for annual activities and also establish the priorities for the allocation of limited financial and human resources. The strategies that form the foundation of the 2010 plan are: Niagara Economic Growth Strategy 2009-2012 Council Business Plan 2007-2011 Finally, the NEDC business plan reflects the various studies and consultation with economic development agencies in Niagara and, most specifically, the CAO Report to Council, September 2007, which delineated the complementary roles of NEDC and municipal EDOs, as well as the CAO 2-2009 Niagara Economic Development Corporation – Action Plan. The primary role of NEDC is to market Niagara as the best place to invest, live, learn, work, and visit. As such, all of the research, analysis, and policy engagement by NEDC are targeted towards more effectively marketing the region for these purposes to external audiences. NEDC consults and partners with other organizations in almost all of its programs and initiatives. Partners encompass municipalities, economic development agencies, and local destination marketing organizations as well as the private, not-for-profit, and institutional sectors. In some cases, these engagements involve consultation and input, while others involve financial partnering. The following plan is structured according to the Economic Growth Strategy into six categories:
Building a Stronger Collective Voice Create a Competitive Business Environment Target Strategic Employers Improve Transportation and Related Infrastructure Marketing the Niagara Brand Develop Niagara‟s Talent Pool
2.2 Building a Stronger Collective Voice Experience has proven that Niagara achieves its greatest outcomes when the Niagara community presents itself with “one voice.” That is why this effort is the first priority of Niagara‟s Economic Growth Strategy and is considered to be fundamental to all other activities. Action: Government Relations Programs Description: Facilitate and support the Region‟s government relations priorities especially with respect to policy development and federal/provincial relationship development that affects economic development. Activities: Development of analyses, background papers, and positions with respect to economic development and Economic Growth Strategy priorities; individual and collective meetings as led by Regional chair or designate. Support to Niagara Week @ Queens Park initiative. Timing: Ongoing with pre-budget and spring/fall initiatives
Action: Economic Development Policies and Programs Description: Identify, influence, and leverage government programs federally and provincially that will bring additional funds/investments to Niagara and/or improve the business attractiveness of the region. Activities: Strategy and regular meetings, particularly with Ministries of Economic Development and Trade, and Tourism. Provide coordination and support to area municipalities in achieving mutual objectives. Timing: Ongoing
Action: Semi-Annual Economic Update of Niagara Description: In partnership with other organizations, develop and communicate an update on the Niagara economy twice a year. Timing may vary depending on the partners and also the updating of data (e.g., Statistics Canada, CMA reporting). Activities: Niagara Economic Report (2) Timing: 2010
2.3 Create a Competitive Business Environment The Niagara Economic Growth Strategy identifies a competitive business environment in Niagara as a key strategic objective. In order to retain and attract new investment, Niagara must make it appealing for investors to “do business” here. One of the most effective means to achieving this goal is through collaboration and teamwork with a multiplicity of vested community stakeholders, both public and private, and especially with our municipalities. Currently, both real and perceived investment barriers are limiting Niagara‟s growth potential. The following short- and long-term activities are part of NEDC‟s 2010 Business Plan, focused on creating a more competitive business environment in Niagara. Action: Foster Competitiveness, Efficiency and Innovation in Niagara’s Government and Business Sectors Activities: Continue to support independent initiatives that benchmark and assess the cost competitiveness of the Niagara Region in terms of the “cost of doing business,” such as the BMA Municipal Study (2009) that directly compares various costs among the majority of Ontario municipalities; and the KPMG Competitive Alternatives Study (2010) that compares and contrasts international business costs. Continue to review, analyze, and utilize the information aforementioned to assist municipal partners in their own municipal cost analyses and to fully understand Niagara‟s competitive position as compared to other Ontario municipalities.
Develop and implement an “online marketing and communications” strategic plan that will identify technology enhancements to assist NEDC in fulfilling its mandate and properly portray the Niagara Region as a technologically advanced area. Enhancements to be considered will include: o o o o
Net-meetings and face-to-face teleconferencing Webinars Video placements in social media and YouTube Upgrading of our corporate Websites and micro-sites to better meet the requirements of visitors to those sites
Continue to perform the functions of prospecting, lead generation, opportunity development, liaising, and strategic collaboration with economic development offices and designated contacts in the 12 municipalities. In addition to the ongoing coordination, work, and partnering with the Region and our 12 municipalities, continue to engage and support other private- and publicsector partners and their goals, including: o o o o o o o o o o
Brock University and Niagara College Niagara Workforce Planning Board of Directors Local Labour Market Planning Committee Niagara Immigrant Employment Council Niagara Industrial Association nGen Board of Directors Bicentennial of War of 1812 Legacy Council Board of Directors Destination Niagara Steering Committee Niagara 2015 Pan Am Games Bid World Trade Centre of Buffalo Niagara Board of Directors
Timing: Ongoing Action: Encourage Niagara’s Overall Business Cost Stays Competitive Activities: Continue to advocate for competitive business charges and tax rates for both new and existing businesses within Niagara‟s industrial community to encourage growth and expansion and job creation in Niagara. Participate directly and encourage participation by the private sector in regional committees and task forces focused on industrial development charges, industrial tax rate reform, and other related business issues. 15
Continue to advocate for Niagara‟s business community where appropriate and provide an “economic development” perspective as an integral part of the overall evaluation of major business applications being considered by the Niagara Region on an ongoing basis. Timing: Ongoing Action: Marketing of Niagara’s Top Redevelopment Opportunities Objective: Promote Niagara as a leader in smart growth and brownfield redevelopment and drive-related investment into Niagara. Geographical Target: Greater Golden Horseshoe, Western New York, and North America. Industry Target: Developers, investors, environmental engineers, realtors, architects, planners, government officials, economic development officials, academics. Activities: Integrate these assets and opportunities into our overall Investment Marketing and BR&E activities. Attend major smart growth, brownfield, and real estate conferences and trade shows (e.g., the 9th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference (2010) and the 2010 Canadian Brownfields Conference). Timing: Ongoing
Action: Promote Continuous Two-way Communication between Niagara Business and Government
Activities: Position the Niagara Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors as facilitators to develop stronger relationships between the Niagara Region and the local business community. Support Niagara‟s official representatives in their advocacy activities aimed at raising awareness of Niagara‟s infrastructure needs in order to assist Niagara‟s overall competitive position as an investment location (Niagara Week, Places to Grow, Niagara to GTA Corridor). Feature local Niagara business success stories in both traditional and emerging sectors at the NEDC‟s Annual Meeting in 2010. Timing: Ongoing
2.4 Improve Transportation and Related Infrastructure Action: Raise Stakeholder Awareness With Respect to Key Infrastructure Projects Description: Create opportunities for private- and public-sector engagement and provide policy/program guidance related to Niagara‟s strategic transportation and infrastructure projects. Activities: Participate in the Niagara Region‟s Transportation Steering Committee. Provide information, assess reports, and provide commentary on the Niagara to GTA Planning and Environmental Assessment Study undertaken by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Develop presentation updates to regional stakeholders on the economic implications of the Niagara Gateway Economic Zone and Centre, the federal-provincial gateway corridor initiative, and the Niagara to GTA Corridor project and multimodal transportation development. Support the Region‟s oversight committee on the Gateway Economic Zone/Centre including possible site visits to transportation-based logistics and economic gateway locations for economic development officers and civic leaders, e.g., Alliance Texas, SmartPort Kansas City, including one or two free trade zones in the United States. 17
Action: Influence Government and Industry Policy and Program Development Description: Provide policy/program guidance and development options related to Niagara‟s strategic transportation and infrastructure projects. Activities: Regularly meet with officials in Ottawa and Toronto to keep Niagara‟s transportation and infrastructure needs and development options at the forefront of public discussion. Assess reports, provide commentary, and seek opportunities for engagement in the work of the Southern Ontario Gateway Council, FedDev, and the secretariat responsible for the Federal-Provincial Gateways and Corridors Initiative. Convene a team of leading transportation and gateway development experts to assess the economic development potential of expanded transportation and other major infrastructure projects. Participate or make presentations at major transportation and infrastructure conferences, workshops, and symposia. Work with our U.S. state and city counterparts to support Niagara‟s transportation case. Timing: Ongoing
Action: Work Closely with Local Municipalities and Economic Development Partners to Advance the Economic Priorities Activities: Hold monthly meetings with EDOs to maximize collaboration, coordination, and “Team Niagara” actions.
Continue in the development of NEDC‟s economic information system and identify economic development opportunities for inclusion in Niagara‟s Growth Management Strategy and other strategic documents (e.g., data generated by the Ports Niagara study). Continue to provide economic development resources to partner municipalities and organizations such as business lists, Niagara Commercial Properties user accounts, GIS maps, detailed property information, socio-economic statistics, Opportunity Alerts, site-selection services. Timing: Ongoing
2.5 Market Niagara Introduction Marketing is a strategic function designed to communicate value to prospects and customers. It involves understanding the marketplace and competitors, positioning its “product” to differentiate itself, and ultimately reach and persuade intended audiences. The functions of marketing cover a vast range of activities including research, brand management, product development, packaging, and distribution channels, advertising, and public/media relations. Sales are downstream from marketing and are focused on completing/closing the transaction. While marketing and sales are complementary, they involve very different skill sets and expertise. To understand the roles of marketing and sales, a fairly simple diagram can be used. The process below is similar regardless of whether the ultimate purchaser is an individual consumer or a business. The following diagram reflects the Decision Making Process and how it applies to NEDC‟s role and activities:
Decision Making Process
Increase “top of mind” awareness of Niagara as diversified, successful business community Tools: Marketing materials, advertising, trade shows, missions, public/media relations
Best-in-class Websites, market analyses and relevant information Personal attention and responsiveness to potential investors/clients Partner engagement through strategic planning, collaboration, and NEDC Opportunity Alerts Tools: Websites, economic and sector analyses
Facilitate final attainment and provision of additional details requested by potential investor/client with NEDC partners Ultimate decision made by potential investor/client Municipal & Real Estate partners close the deal and share the results and impact with NEDC
When a consumer or business decides there is a need or opportunity to make a purchase/investment, there is an immediate narrowing down of the universe. It is impossible and too expensive to examine and analyse every option in the marketplace. They apply their immediate knowledge and perceptions: Who sells the product? What is their reputation? What do third-parties say about them? What is the “brand” perception?
Research and analysis takes place on a finite number of options in order to evaluate and narrow down the options. Research the Internet, talk to friends or colleagues, and meet with sales people.
After considering the pros and cons of each option on the short-list, make a decision and finalize the transaction. Negotiate until value and price are reconciled.
2.5.1 Economic Development Marketing In economic development, the process of marketing is not all that different except that the economic development agency can only facilitate and expedite the process, not close the final sale. In the case of NEDC, the product is Niagara, and the target audiences are varied, e.g., businesses for investment marketing, travelling consumers for tourism marketing. There are two ways to reach the intended audiences: directly and through third-party intermediaries, also referred to as “multipliers.” Intermediaries in investment marketing are site selectors, MEDT, Trade Commissioners, and trade shows for example, while in tourism it would include travel agents (e.g., CAA/AAA) and tour operators. Successful marketers usually employ both approaches, encompassing a “push-pull strategy.” In Niagara, NEDC‟s primary focus is on the marketing and the awareness/consideration” process, while municipal economic development officers are much more focused on the end “transaction” to facilitate the closing of the sale. The NEDC Board has approved a series of protocols to facilitate ongoing information-sharing on leads and business opportunities. In Niagara‟s smaller municipalities, NEDC carries out the complete process with each of those municipalities and their municipal point of contact. Please see the following diagram for a clear picture of the role NEDC plays in the economic development marketing efforts of Niagara:
2.5.2 NEDC Brand and Product Marketing
Brand Awareness The research indicates that there needs to be more “top of mind” awareness by businesses about Niagara as a location for investment. The qualitative research carried out by Strategic Counsel in June 2008 clearly indicated that, even in Ontario, Niagara was not immediately thought of beyond “tourism.” Other communities were identified as being explicitly open for business including Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Ottawa, and even Brantford. The role of brand awareness is to the effect that “top of mind” awareness and the product marketing by sector serves as a specific reinforcement particularly when there is a common brand platform. NEDC‟s primary business Website is niagaracanada.com, which is a key source for information critical to the facilitation of the decision making process for site selection and new business investment. In order for this to occur, niagaracanada.com and its microsites must be state of the art, strongly differentiated in the marketplace, and populated with current and accurate information.
Action: NEDC Corporate Websites Description: NEDC has two primary Websites, niagaracanada.com and tourismniagara.com. Both of these sites serve an important role in fulfilling NEDC‟s mandate; niagaracanada.com helps attract businesses to the region while tourismniagara.com helps attract tourists to the area. However, both sites have different objectives and target audiences, and their daily operations work independent of one another with separate technology and hosting business arrangements. Objective: Building on work initiated in Q4 of 2009, four concurrent activities are planned for 2010 and beyond. These activities will support an overarching three-year “Website development plan” that will rationalize and revitalize NEDC‟s primary sites and initiate improvements that will improve efficiencies and reduce costs for NEDC and its municipal partners, and provide greater value to site visitors as well as improved logic in navigation and functionality. Activities: The concurrent activities at this time are as follows: Establishment of a three-year Development Plan for NEDC Online Sites Creation and delivery of individual work plans for: o o o o
niagaracanada.com tourismcanada.com smarterniagara.com new micro-site for BR&E of each area/municipality without full-time EDOs
Action: Corporate Communications Description: Develop a communications strategy that will provide structured opportunities and vehicles for communicating to key target audiences in the form of regular and 24
annual updates and information to help improve understanding of our value proposition. Objective: Establish regular and annual communications with separate key target audiences using specific messaging that is appropriate, relevant, and important to each grouping of recipients. Target Audiences: Regional Council Members Region of Niagara Personnel Board of Directors (NEDC) Municipal Personnel Others TBD Timing: Ongoing
Action: B2B Public/Media Relations Description: Build relations with the general business and specific industry/sector media to generate more stories that reference the positive business and investment climate in Niagara highlighting our existing success stories and emerging sectors; position NEDC as the go-to media source for interviews, information, and economic statistics. Proactive activities to be considered will be camera-ready stories and pictures for smaller media outlets and â€œspecial supplementsâ€? and advertorial buys with medium to larger media properties. Objective: Build Niagara business brand and top-of-mind awareness. Geographic Target: GTA, national business, and sector/industry media opportunities. Industry Target: Existing and emerging sectors with focus on the mature industries and more advanced clusters. 25
Action: Advertising in Targeted Media with a Focus on Sector-Specific SMEs Located in the GTA and Nationally Description: Develop a media and public relations strategy that includes buying advertising space in targeted media to promote Niagara as an attractive investment location; these ads would use the Niagara branding platform to provide consistency and continuity of positioning, messaging, and imagery. Objective: Build Niagara business brand and top-of-mind awareness. Geographic Target: GTA, national business, and sector/industry advertising opportunities. Industry Target: All sectors Timing: Ongoing
Action: Implementation of Niagara Original Brand Description: Encourage appropriate adoption and usage of â€œNiagara Originalâ€? branding and co-branding among all economic sectors, tourism organizations, private and notfor-profit institutions, and governments. Objective: To increase top-of-mind awareness of the Niagara Original brand throughout Niagara, the province, nationally, and internationally. To provide a better understanding of how Niagara-based organizations can adopt and use the brand.
Geographic Target: Key focus on Niagara, with targeted applications beyond the region as deemed appropriate. Industry Target: All sectors and partners, including traditional and emerging clusters. Timing: Ongoing
Action: Toronto Business Reception Objective: Raise profile and image of Niagara as a successful business community ripe for investment. Industry Target: Business leaders, influencers, media, site selection/realtors. Timing: Q2 or Q3
Action: Bi-national Business Event, Buffalo Objective: To explore opportunities for collaboration between Niagara and communities within New York State. This collaboration could be both strategic, particularly in logistics and transportation, and also to encourage the establishment of supplier networks between companies on either side of the border. Existing relationships with a number of organizations would be leveraged including the Canadian Consulate, Buffalo, World Trade Centre Buffalo Niagara, and economic development organizations in Buffalo and Rochester. Industry Target: Economic development agencies and manufacturing companies in New York State. 27
2.6 Target Strategic Employers In pursuing regional economic growth, it is critical to both build on existing strengths and identify future growth sectors and opportunities including advanced manufacturing and knowledge-based industries. The initial directions envisioned by the Economic Growth Strategy Steering Committee and the recommendations of community leaders from economic forums have identified a set of priority growth sectors, including manufacturing, that provide significant business development and investment opportunities over the medium and long term. Below are those that will be included in the 2010 Business Plan. 2.6.1 Existing Industry Sectors Explore and Pursue Opportunities for Growth in Current Strategic Industry Clusters, Building on Existing Strengths (a) Advanced Manufacturing Transitioning into Emerging Industries Transportation, automotive, and related manufacturing: EGS (2009-2012) Action: Collaboration with the Niagara Industrial Association Description: The Niagara Industrial Association, Wind Energy Committee is focused on ensuring the supply chain for wind energy manufacturing exists in Niagara. The existence of this supply chain is an essential component of marketing Niagara as a location for this industry. The company members are actively pursuing this sector, with NEDC taking the lead on investment attraction and facilitating supplier opportunities through, e.g., Great Lakes Wind Network in Cleveland. Objective: Demonstrating to potential investors that Niagara has the capability to supply components through our existing supply chain and thereby strengthening our advantage as a location for this industry. Geographical Target: North America, Germany, Denmark, and Spain. 28
Industry Target: Wind Energy assemblers and component manufacturers. Timing: Building on 2009 initiatives and ongoing throughout 2010. Partnerships: Municipal economic development offices, Niagara Industrial Association.
Action: Support the Niagara Industrial Buyer Seller Forum Description: The Niagara Industrial Buyer Seller Forum provides an opportunity for Niagara companies to showcase their products to potential buyers within Niagara and to invited purchasing managers from outside the region. NEDC is a member of the organizing committee and in previous years has provided funding sourced from the province to support the trade show. Objective: To increase business for Niagara manufacturers through networking with other regional companies and supply managers from invited companies outside Niagara. Geographical Target: Market expansion for Niagara companies Industry Target: Advanced manufacturing Timing: Q1 (b) Tourism Tourism, hospitality, and recreational services: EGS (2009-2012)
Action: Assess the Impact of the Ontario Tourism Competitiveness Study (Sorbara report) on NEDC and Tourism Niagara Description: In 2008 the Government of Ontario launched the Ontario Tourism Competitiveness Study, chaired by Greg Sorbara. This study recognized both the competitive challenges faced by Ontario as well as the global importance of the industry to Ontario‟s economy. In 2009 the report was completed and the Government of Ontario is expected to begin implementation in Q1/Q2. The province will consider the establishment of regional Destination Marketing and Management Organizations (DMMO) that would impact the tourism function of NEDC. Timing: Q1 Partnerships: Ministry of Tourism, Niagara DMO partners, Niagara private-sector tourism operators.
Action: Promoting Niagara to the Travel Media Description: Coordinate and develop familiarization tours and provide media images and information to travel writers to increase national and international media coverage that positions Niagara as a multi-day, overnight destination. Objective: Participate in three media marketplaces; develop three niche media FAMs (Cycling, Eco–Green, and Francophone); host 20 media visits in Niagara; and provide two print and regular e-mail updates on new Niagara tourism product. Geographical Target: Primary - Travel writers from Canada and U.S. – who write for FIT (Fully Independent Travellers) in Canada and the U.S. Secondary – (a) Travel writers from Europe and Asia who write for FIT consumers, (b) Travel writers who write for Canadian/U.S. Travel Trade and the Meetings/Conventions market
Timing: Ongoing Partnerships: Canadian Tourism Commission, Ontario Tourism, Niagara DMO partners, Niagara private-sector tourism operators, Society of American Travel Writers, Travel Media Association of Canada.
Action: Consumer Website www.tourismniagara.com Description: To provide an informative and up-to-date website for visitors and private-sector partners as a tourism information portal for travel consumers and a leveragingmarketing platform for the Niagara tourism industry. Effective utilization of the website will facilitate the positioning of Niagara as a multi-day destination through increased consumer knowledge. Objective: Grow the number of unique visits and continue to improve search engine positioning through additional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) content and programs. More emphasis will be placed on the rationalization of content, rebranding of the look and feel of the site, and the inclusion of a new functionality to provide users with an interactive itinerary-planning capability. New/additional revenue opportunities will be pursued with private-sector partners. Geographical Target: Primary – consumers from U.S.A. and Canada Secondary – consumers from Europe and Asia Industry Target: Primary – general consumers (Fully Independent Travelers) Secondary – tour operators, travel agents, and travel media Timing: Ongoing
Partnerships: Niagara DMO partners, Niagara private-sector tourism operators, GO Transit.
Action: Gateway Niagara - Full-Service Information Centre Description: Gateway Niagara is a full-service, year-round information centre located in Grimsby. The centre is staffed with professional travel counsellors who offer travel assistance, distribute brochures, maps, and other printed information, book hotel rooms, and sell a variety of attraction tickets. With the lease expiring in 2011 and the potential impact of the provincial government restructuring, this function will be reviewed in the latter part of 2010. Objective: Provide the consumer with a positive first impression of Niagara by offering friendly, accurate information and assistance, attraction ticket sales, and room reservations. Geographical Target: Primary â€“ Ontario consumers Secondary â€“ other Canadian, U.S., European, and Asian consumers Industry Target: Primary: consumers Secondary: motor coach Timing: Ongoing Partnerships: Ontario Tourism, Niagara DMO partners, Niagara private-sector tourism operators.
Action: Production of Consumer Information Pieces about Niagara
Description: Provide consumers with brochures that position Niagara as a multi-day destination and increase their knowledge of Niagara in order to stimulate overnight bookings. Objective: Print 400,000 Niagara Seasons visitors‟ guides by April 1, 2010; 50,000 Regional Maps by May 1, 2010; 25,000 Greater Niagara Circle Route brochures by May 1, 2010; and if required, 25,000 – 50,000 Welland Canal brochures by May 1, 2010. Geographical Target: Primary – Ontario, Canada, and the U.S. Secondary – Europe and Asia Industry Target: Primary – general consumers (Fully Independent Travellers) Secondary – tour operators, travel agents, and travel media Timing: Q1 and Q2 Partnerships: Ontario Tourism, Niagara DMO partners, Niagara private-sector tourism operators.
Action: Go Transit Niagara Summer Excursion Train Service Description: Develop and implement a marketing communications strategy to create awareness of, and to promote, the GO Transit Niagara Summer Excursion Train Service. This activity will be done in concert with all area municipalities, key local agencies, and business interests. Objective: Build awareness of the service among target audiences (specific and general) in the GTA and Golden Horseshoe corridors.
Geographic Targets: GTA, Golden Horseshoe, Niagara Region, and select Quebec markets. Timing: May to October 2010
Action: Niche Market Development Programs 1. Quebec/Francophone Market Description: Promote Niagara as a multi-day destination to the Quebec/Francophone market. Objective: Print 40,000 visitors' guides – Les Saisons and distribute 10,000 – 20,000 throughout Quebec and Ontario. If required reprint Velo Niagara (bilingual cycling route map). Attend two consumer travel shows in Quebec – one targeting a lifestyle/leisure audience, and the other targeting a cycling audience; obtain additional research information on the Quebec to Ontario travel market; and develop an E-marketing and print “Visit Niagara” campaign. Geographical Target: Primary – province of Quebec (Montreal, Quebec) Secondary – France, Franco Ontarians, and other French-speaking Canadian/U.S., and European consumers Industry Target: Primary – general consumers (Fully Independent Travelers) Secondary – tour operators, travel agents, and travel media Timing: Ongoing throughout 2010 Partnerships: Venture Niagara, Club 2000, Niagara DMO partners, and Niagara private-sector operators.
2. Cycling Market Description: Promote Niagara as a multi-day destination to the cycling market. Objective: Attend the Toronto Bicycle Show; coordinate with the Regional Niagara Bike Committee (RNBC), assist the RNBC with a reprint of the “Bike Map,” and work with Bike Train organizers to promote the further expansion of departures from Toronto to Niagara, thereby increasing the number of cycling visitors to Niagara. Expand cycling related content on Tourism Niagara‟s Website and coordinate a Niagara travel media cycling familiarization tour. Geographical Target: Primary – Ontario/Quebec Industry Target: Primary – general consumers (Fully Independent Travellers) Secondary – Travel Media Timing: Ongoing Partnerships: Regional Niagara Planning Department, Regional Niagara Bicycle Committee, Niagara DMO partners, Niagara private-sector operators, Bike Train, Ontario Tourism. 3. Greenbelt/Eco Tourism Description: Establish Niagara‟s Greenbelt as a multi-day destination to visitors interested in green/eco travel. Geographical Target: Primary – Ontario and the rest of Canada Secondary – U.S.
Industry Target: Primary – general consumers (Fully Independent Travellers) Secondary – travel media Objective: Distribution of 15,000 Niagara Greenbelt brochures, drive visitation to Niagara Greenbelt Website. Timing: Ongoing Partnerships: The Greenbelt Foundation, Brock University, Niagara DMO partners, Niagara private-sector operators. 4. Sport Tourism Market Description: Establish Niagara as a destination for sport tourism events. Objective: Participate on the Niagara Sport Tourism Alliance Board of Directors and the Marketing Committee. Continue to provide support to Niagara‟s role in the Pan Am Games in 2012. Geographical Target: Primary – Ontario and the rest of Canada Secondary – U.S.A. Industry Target: Primary – sport event organizers Timing: Ongoing
Partnerships: Niagara Sport Tourism Alliance, Brock University, Ontario Tourism, Niagara DMO partners, Niagara private-sector operators. (c) Agri-Business Value-added agricultural processing: EGS (2009-2012) Action: Local Food Initiative Description: Continue to support the recommendations of the Regional Chair‟s Agricultural Task Force, particularly in branding and the local food initiative. With funding from MEDT, provide support to projects being developed and implemented by the Task Force and other partners, including Local Food Distribution Feasibility Study, Local Food Action Plan, and value-added on-farm policies. Objective: Increase the awareness of, and ultimately the sale of Niagara local food production. Timing: Ongoing and based on the plan being developed by the Agricultural Task Force Action: Increase Awareness of Niagara’s Horticultural Industry Description: Agriculture represents both a traditional and emerging sector in the Niagara region with potential for new investment/growth. Niagara‟s horticultural sector has steadily grown to become the most important sector financially of the regional agricultural economy. Objective: Increase awareness of Niagara‟s horticultural industry and new investment opportunities where a strong specific business case can be made. Identify and cultivate key prospects; develop and sustain relationships; service and followthrough on leads.
Industry Target: New horticultural sales and investment Investment Marketing Shows & Missions: Development of high-quality promotional materials that highlight the quality and diversity of floral/vegetable products and services (print materials, trade show signage). Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE), January 14-16, Fort Lauderdale, Florida World Floral Expo (WFI), March 9-11, Miami, Florida International Flora-Cultural Expo (IFE), June 23-25, Miami, Florida Canadian Growers Conference, October 2010, Toronto Garden Expo, October 2010, Toronto Other Activities: Production of the 2010 Ontario Greenhouse Grower‟s Directory and Buyers Guide (6500 copies to be produced and distributed). Partnerships: Ontario/Niagara Horticulture Growers, Industry Associations and Committees, Flowers Canada. (d) Culture Culture: EGS (2009-2012) Action: War of 1812 Bicentennial Celebrations Description: The War of 1812 Bicentennial is an opportunity to celebrate Niagara and North America‟s cultural heritage. International in scope, it will create an opportunity to showcase Niagara‟s cultural heritage to tourists and residents in potentially large numbers. It will stimulate tourist spending and position Niagara as a culturally rich place to live, work, play, and visit.
Activities: Provide funding to assist the organizing committee with development and implementation of marketing communications activities. Provide office space and basic administrative support. Work with the Niagara 1812 Legacy Council to explore significant tourism development opportunities. Explore marketing opportunities to promote specific 1812 programs. Increase level of support to develop tourism products unique to Niagara for the War of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations. Timing: Ongoing
Action: Support to Region of Niagara Culture Plan Description: The Region should have a plan in place in 2010 and NEDC should identify the 2-3 specific deliverables that would assist in the achievement of the Plan. Activities: Dependent on the final approved Plan. NEDC is providing input to the Plan as it is being developed. Timing: Ongoing 2.6.2 Emerging Industry Clusters Explore and pursue opportunities for growth in emerging industry clusters Action: Team Niagara Mission to Asia Description: A working group mission focused on continued relationship-building within Japan and South Korea with intermediaries and identification of investment targets with their assistance. A program of company meetings will be developed to promote Niagaraâ€&#x;s advantages as a location for investment. China may be considered depending on market conditions.
Objective: Build on 5+ years of relationship-building and keep Niagara front of mind to potential investors. Promote Niagara as a potential location for investment. Geographical Target: Japan and South Korea Industry Target: Advanced Manufacturing and Alternative Energy Timing: May or October 2010 Partnerships: Team Niagara, Trade Commissioner Service, Ontario Marketing Centre, private sector. (e) Green Technology – Wind Energy Environmental, energy and other “green” technologies: EGS (2009-2012) Action: Cultivate and Maintain a Strong Relationship with the Great Lakes Wind Network Description: The Great Lakes Wind Network (GLWN) is a non-profit, industry-led network of manufacturers and suppliers with a mission to grow the wind supply industry in North America whether from Canada or the U.S. It is based in Cleveland, Ohio. The GLWN works with wind turbine OEMs and major suppliers, identifies critical component needs, and connects pre-qualified manufacturers with new potential customers. An initial meeting with them, including representation from the Niagara Industrial Association, in September 2009, confirmed the importance and connections of this group within the industry as well as a willingness to work with us to engage Niagara companies in the network. Objective: To work with the GLWN to connect them with Niagara companies in order to include them in the database and pre-qualify them as wind energy suppliers. To leverage relationships established by the GLWN to gain introduction to the major 40
wind turbine assemblers in North America in order to promote the supply chain within Niagara and the region as an investment location for existing suppliers from Europe. Geographical Target: North America Industry Target: Wind Energy Timing: Ongoing throughout 2010 Partnerships: Great Lakes Wind Network, Niagara Industrial Association, Municipal Economic Development Offices.
Action: Integrated Marketing as a Member of the Ontario Technology Corridor Description: NEDC is a partner in the Ontario Technology Corridor (OTC) with the Province of Ontario; Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance; London Economic Development Corporation; Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation; Canadaâ€&#x;s Technology Triangle; and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The OTC has four core activities planned for 2010 in the Clean Tech sector which are funded through Invest Canada Community Initiatives (ICCI). These include attendance at four major wind energy and solar energy tradeshows with meetings arranged by lead generation companies. Wind Power 2010 is currently within NEDCâ€&#x;s business plan for 2010. Inter Solar, North America July 13-15, San Francisco Inter Solar, Europe June 9-11, Munich, Germany Wind Power 2010 May 23-26, Dallas, Texas
Eco Expo Asia November 3-6 Hong Kong Action: Wind Power 2010, May 23 â€“ 26, 2010 Dallas, Texas Description: A fact-finding visit to Wind Power 2009 confirmed the growth of opportunities within North America in the wind energy sector and the importance of this event. NEDC will participate in this event as a partner in the Ontario Technology Corridor promoting the Clean Tech sector. Objective: To generate leads from the wind energy sector by promoting Niagara as a location for investment. Geographical Target: U.S.A. Industry Target: Wind Energy Timing: May 2010 Partnerships: Municipal Economic Development Offices, Niagara Industrial Association, Ontario Technology Corridor.
Action: CanWEA 2010, Montreal Description: NEDC exhibited at CanWEA 2009 in Toronto in association with the Niagara Industrial Association and was able to establish relationships with a number of companies. A booth is planned for CanWEA 2010.
Objective: To promote Niagara as a location for inward investment from this sector and to promote Niagara companies as suppliers. Geographical Target: North America Industry Target: Wind Energy Sector Timing: October 31 to November 3, 2010 Partnerships: Municipal Economic Development Offices, Niagara Industrial Association
Action: CanSIA 2010 Description: NEDC attended the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) show in 2009, which was held in Toronto, December 7 & 8. In 2009, the conference and showcase were both sold out with record numbers of delegates attending. As well as being informative about the industry, the conference was an excellent networking opportunity. Meetings were also held with companies from Spain as a follow-up to the mission in October. Objective: To pursue potential investment opportunities by networking and promoting Niagara, either through attendance at the show or participation with a booth. Geographical target: Principally North America but this conference also attracts companies from Europe. Industry Target: Solar Industry 43
Timing: CanSIA have not yet announced the date or venue for the conference in 2010. Partnerships: Municipal economic development offices and Niagara Industrial Association
Action: Team Niagara Mission to Europe Description: A working group mission where, following the Team Niagara Mission in 2009 to Holland, Denmark, Germany, and Spain, activity in Europe for 2010 will be decided. There are two major trade shows during September 2010: Husum Wind Energy, September 21 â€“ 25 and Power Expo, Zaragoza September 22 â€“ 24. Both could be anchor events for a mission travelling to Europe as they will provide focal points in Germany and Spain for companies in wind energy. Objective: To promote Niagara as a location for wind energy investment. Geographical Target: Europe Industry Target: Renewable Energy/Advanced Manufacturing (Horticulture) Timing: September 2010 Partnerships: Team Niagara members, Trade Commissioner Service, Ontario Marketing Centre, Vineland Research & Innovation Center, Ontario Technology Corridor, private sector. (f) Bio-Products Biomanufacturing: EGS (2009-2012) Action: Bio-Products Investment Marketing Program 44
Description: Bio-Products have been identified as an emerging sector within the Niagara region with potential for new investment/growth. Objective: Increase awareness of Niagara‟s emerging bio-products sector within Niagara and identify new investment opportunities where a strong specific business case can be made. Identify and cultivate key prospects; develop and sustain relationships; service and follow-through on leads. Targeting is based on the Niagara Region Bioeconomy Investment Marketing Plan (2008) and the Bio-Products Industry Development Opportunities for Niagara (2008) study. Industry Targets: Industrial bio-products (e.g., Jungbunzlauer (JBL), Casco Inc. an affiliate of Corn Products International, Abitibi – Consolidated Inc., and PlanET Biogas Solutions Inc.); functional foods (grape seed oil, Vinifera for Life); bio-energy (Walker Industries methane, greenhouse heating); biopharmaceuticals (Norgen Biotek, Biolyse Pharma; environmental products (Walker Industry compost). Events: Bio International Convention, May 03 – 06, 2010, Chicago; Industrial BioTechnology and Bio-Processing – 7th Annual World Congress (June 27-30, 2010, Washington); one Niagara-based industry/business recommended partnered initiative (TBD); National Bio Week; partner with others to raise awareness of bio-product activities and potential in Niagara. Partnerships: Ontario Agri-Food Technologies (OAFT); Golden Horseshoe Bio-Science Network (GHBN); Agriculture Canada; Vineland Research and Innovation Centre; Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs; BioEnterprises; Advanced Food & Materials Network (AFMNet); local area municipal EDOs. Timing: 2010 (g) Digital / Interactive Media Digital/Interactive Media: EGS (2009-2012) Action: Integrated Marketing as a Member of the Ontario Technology Corridor 45
Description: NEDC is a partner in the Ontario Technology Corridor (OTC) with the Province of Ontario; Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance; London Economic Development Corporation; Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation; Canadaâ€&#x;s Technology Triangle and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The OTC has four core activities planned for 2010 in the Digital/Interactive Media sector which are funded through Invest Canada Community Initiatives (ICCI). They will be attending two major tradeshows with meetings arranged by lead generation companies. USA West Coast Mission GDC San Francisco 2010 March 9-13, San Francisco Additional two days to visit companies in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley including Visual FX, Animation. GDC Europe August 16-18, Cologne, Germany USA East Coast Mission Tentative date April/May Boston/New York/Washington to include activities coordinated with the New England Business Council and focused on ICT United Kingdom Tentative date September A program will to set up using a UK consultant and the Ontario International Marketing Centre, London. Objective: To promote Niagara as an integrated part of sector activity within Ontario highlighting the areas where the region has particular strengths. Geographical Target: North America and Europe Industry Target: Interactive Digital Media
Timing: Ongoing throughout 2010 Partnerships: Ontario Technology Corridor, Trade Commissioner Service, Ontario Marketing Centre, Team Niagara partners, Brock University, Niagara College, nGen, Silicon Knights. (h) Health and Wellness Health and Wellness and Life Sciences EGS (2009-2012) Action: Investigate Economic Development Opportunities within this Sector Description: There are a number of developments taking place in this sector in Niagara including the building of the new hospital in St. Catharines; establishment of the McMaster Niagara Family Health Centre; Brock Health and Bioscience Research Centre; Niagara College‟s Applied Health Institute, and the City of Welland Health and Wellness Services Growth Plan. As new assets are established, an investment marketing plan will be developed to promote the region‟s advantages in this sector. Timing: Initial research and partner input in 2010, with a plan developed in 2011 2.7 Niagara’s Talent Pool Regions and companies have come to realize the importance of having access to a pool of educated and skilled employees to remain competitive and to advance their economic goals. Developing Niagara‟s talent pool is one of the major planks of the regional economic growth strategy. The strategy outlines a comprehensive framework that will guide the development of action plans to strengthen the region‟s workforce and help focus the integrated efforts of its educational partners. Building and diversifying the educational base of the region‟s workforce and attracting creative entrepreneurial people to the area has become essential to Niagara‟s future growth. Moreover, employers want to be assured that their needs and concerns are being heard by the institutional community, the professional bodies that represent their interests, or by governments that invest in strategic human resource development.
The strategy has provided a blue print for regional action to address major human resource challenges. Its realization has taken on a heightened level of importance especially as new emerging industry sectors have been targeted for expanding and diversifying our regional economy. NEDC has determined that one of its challenges over the short term is to facilitate engagement, dialogue, and help advance the strategic agendas of its educational partners to ensure that the action plan will generate regional solutions that address labour force supply-demand issues in Niagara‟s industries, occupations, and communities. The following actions will be implemented during 2010: Action: Strategic Alignment NEDC will focus on contributing to the strategic directions of Niagara‟s postsecondary educational institutions so that they are aligned with economic development priorities. Action: Participation in Regional Labour Market Development Initiatives NEDC‟s senior staff will be directly involved in consultations, task forces, councils, study teams, or workshops that address regional labour force development issues and provide an economic perspective on directions, decisions, and local solutions. The Integrated Local Labour Market Plan (ILLMP), currently being completed by the Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB), will provide important leadership in the continuing development of Niagara‟s overall labour market. Action: Strategic Regional Labour Market Intelligence NEDC will maintain and disseminate Niagara-based labour market information derived from public or independent sources. This will include updating existing regional fact sheets, investment marketing materials, and Website content, thereby ensuring that the most up-to-date and competitive labour market information is available to potential investors as part of NEDC‟s marketing proposals. Partnerships: Niagara College Brock University Niagara Workforce Planning Board
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPI’s)
3.1 Overview As the Business Plan indicates, NEDC is involved in the delivery of a wide variety of economic development and tourism programs on behalf of the Niagara Region. In their role as “intermediaries,” working with both the community and the business/investment sector, economic development programs focus on both “external” programs (e.g., Investment Marketing) and “internal” programs for business (e.g., Business Retention and Expansion). RMN-CAO10-2007 provides a formal framework regarding economic development roles and responsibilities between NEDC and local area municipal economic development officers. An economic development organization does not directly create jobs or actually make new investments itself. Its main function is to undertake programs and activities that raise awareness of a particular location as a compelling and attractive business/investment location and then work with clients to facilitate new investment in that location. NEDC, as the Region‟s economic development and tourism agency, is primarily responsible for program activities that raise the awareness of Niagara (e.g., external marketing and promotional activities) with targeted groups. This function is very similar to what trade commissioners do for Canada and Ontario investment officers do for Ontario. The business development investment marketing process involves the following basic activities: Research and identification of business opportunities for Niagara within specific economic sectors, e.g., emerging clusters, supply chain opportunities. Development of business plans and investment marketing programs that promote Niagara as a competitive business location for the economic sectors being targeted. Implementation of specific marketing programs. Identifying and meeting with potential business clients to provide additional information based on client‟s specific requests. Working with clients until they make a business investment decision. This process often requires significant amounts of time and resources. Some business inquiries are brief and to the point and can be addressed very quickly, while others are 49
much more complex and require several months and significant resources, regardless of the final outcome. Given the above, performance indicators that are developed for economic development programs need to be able to accurately reflect the variations in the activities and outcomes of the programs being measured.
Key Performance Indicators As discussed, economic development KPIâ€&#x;s vary significantly among organizations depending on their jurisdiction, size, structure, and the programs that they are mandated to provide. Economic development organizations primarily use activity measures and outcome measures to report on and evaluate their programs and achievements. Activities are the specific actions taken within a program to achieve a particular result, while outcomes are measurable results that indicate progress toward achieving the programâ€&#x;s mission and objectives. Outcomes can be short-term, intermediate, or longterm in nature. NEDC identified a set of performance indicators in conjunction with the 2009 Business Plan that included both important activity and outcome measures as described above. The year 2009 was an opportunity to more precisely define some of the indicators as well as provide a quantifiable baseline for 2010 and onwards.
3.2 NEDC Key Performance Indicators 3.2.1
Total number of outreach contacts Investment marketing contacts Number of new qualified prospects established Investment missions Company meetings/calls within Niagara Consumer impressions of advertising Successful completion/implementation of priority projects on time and on budget Project and partner meetings Unique visits to Website: www.niagaracanada.com Unique visits to Website: www.niagaracp.com Unique visits to Website: www.smarterniagara.com Number of properties/sites and partners on www.niagaracp.com
Website - www.tourismniagara.com o Annual number of unique visits Niagara Gateway Centre â€“ Full-Service Information Centre o Annual number of visitors o Annual number of e-mail, phone inquiries, and mail-outs o Cost of operation Consumer Information Products o Specific products and number of products produced o Number of partners and program revenues Travel Media Program o Number of travel writer visits to Niagara o PR/advertising value of travel media coverage Tourism Niche Markets Development Projects o Quebec/Cycling/Greenbelt markets - annual number of e-mails, phone inquiries, mail-outs, consumer shows attended/attendance of shows if applicable 3.2.3
Management within approved budgets and year-end surplus/deficit Monthly Budget and Financial Reports within 10 working days of end of month Quarterly Variance Reports Reporting of Key Performance Indicators results to the Board as of June 30 and December 31
Summary The key performance indicators identified above will be aligned with the various programs of the Corporationâ€&#x;s annual Business Plan. Each year, specific performance measure numbers will be identified and incorporated into the annual Business Plan on a program-by-program basis and reported back on a semi-annual basis.
APPENDIX A: Economic Characteristics of Niagara
1.1 The Niagara Region The Regional Municipality of Niagara is located in the Golden Horseshoe Region of Ontario and is bounded by Lakes Erie and Ontario, Western New York State to the east, and the City of Hamilton to the west. Its twelve municipalities - five cities, five towns, and two townships - have a combined population of approximately 430,000. The region is strategically located through highway, rail, marine, telecommunication connections and trade corridors that link Niagara continentally and to the global marketplace. The Niagara border is the second-busiest border crossing between Canada and the U.S. More than 15 percent of all bi-national trade in goods between Canada and the United States passes through four vehicle and two rail border crossings into Western New York State and then on to established trade corridors. 1.2 The Niagara Economy The Niagara economy is growing and transitioning from a traditional industrial to a knowledge-based economy. It is moving away from an historical dependency on large multinational corporations primarily in the automotive and transportation equipment sector. In recent years the region has seen a diversification of its economic base proliferated by small- to medium-sized advanced manufacturing firms, with growth represented in emerging sectors such as bioproducts, environmental, energy, and other green technologies, digital/interactive media, health and wellness, life sciences, and education services. Niagara‟s overall economic performance, from a benchmarking perspective, continues to lag faster-growing regional or municipal economies. Most of these communities are in major metropolitan areas and along major highway systems such as the “401 Corridor,” demonstrating the importance of transportation infrastructure as a key component of economic growth. Strengthening Niagara‟s comparative performance and therefore the competitive attractiveness of the region over other regions requires a sustained long-term effort. This is the challenge and ultimate goal of the economic growth strategy. Between 1997 and 2006 the Niagara economy‟s Gross Domestic Product grew 26.3 percent while the province‟s overall GDP growth was 35.6 percent.1 For example, growth in the London area‟s GDP showed a 31.8 percent increase while the hi-tech, enriched economy of Kitchener-Waterloo outpaced Niagara‟s overall GDP growth at
Niagara Economic Briefing. Community Benchmarks. April 2008
40.8 percent over that same period. The Niagara region generated $16.2 billion of output in 2006, approximately 3.3 percent of the Ontario economy. The relatively slower growth in GDP is consistent with employment growth. In the 1997-2007 period, Niagara‟s employment grew by 12.9 percent. Ontario‟s overall growth in employment was double that of Niagara. Again the regional economies in London and Kitchener-Waterloo grew more rapidly at 21.9 percent and 26.2 percent respectively. Between 1997 and 2007, the absolute number of people employed in Niagara-St.Catharines CMA grew from 171,400 to 191,900. The wage rates of Niagara‟s workforce tend to be below both the provincial level and that of other regional economies. This clearly reflects the occupational composition of the region, but it also provides a competitive advantage for the region in certain occupations. The growth of small- to medium-sized enterprises (SME) is leading the area‟s economic transition, and these companies are contributing to the diversification of the regional economy. An SME is defined as a company of fewer than 500 employees. The very small firm is the predominant form of enterprise with the largest concentration in enterprises having fewer than 20 employees.2 Enterprises by Employee Size Range 1999-2007 Employee Size Range
Number of Enterprises 1999
Number of Enterprises 2007
Source: Community Benchmarks, Niagara Economic Forum, April 2008
Significant shifts are occurring in Niagara‟s population; growth is relatively flat and varies across its municipalities. With a total population of around 430,000, the region grew 4.15 percent over the 2001-2006 period. Overall, the region‟s towns grew faster than its larger cities, and significant growth has occurred in the western region of the
Niagara Economic Briefing April 2008
peninsula.3 The Town of Grimsby experienced the largest rate of growth at 14.4 percent during this period. It has been said that “The Niagara region is at the forefront of the transition to the „45 and over‟ society.”4 Population figures from the 2006 Census of Canada confirm this observation as the accompanying chart illustrates. Population by Age and Gender as a Percent Share of the Total Population: Niagara Region and Ontario
Source: Statistics Canada, Census 2006
Total population growth is growing gradually while the age structure of the region is skewed towards an older population compared with the rest of Ontario. Niagara had the fourth-largest concentration of residents over 65 years of age in Ontario with 17.4 percent of the population. This figure is expected to grow to 27.2 percent by 2031.5
Statistics Canada. 2006 Census of Canada. Population
A Competitive Analysis of Niagara‟s Business Opportunities Associated with Adult Lifestyle: A Demographic Perspective. Niagara Economic and Tourism Corporation. November 1999 5
TOP Report. Niagara Training and Adjustment Board. January 2008
Older retirees, those over 85 years of age, are residing in the lakeside communities of Port Colborne and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Younger families tend to be concentrated in the growing communities of Grimsby and West Lincoln. Younger people are leaving Niagara; an older retirement population, attracted by the regionâ€&#x;s lifestyle amenities, are offsetting this outflow and changing the demographic character of the communities within the region. Net migration into Niagara is occurring and leads the communities of Windsor, Kingston, Greater Sudbury, and Thunder Bay. In 2001-2006, Niagara gained 8,199 migrants. By way of contrast, London and Kitchener had a net gain of 15,339 and 22,582 respectively. Growth is occurring in Ontario largely as a result of the inflows of immigrants into the provinces regional communities. Information derived from the 2006 Canadian Census indicates that while Ontario saw an increase of 12.2 percent of new Canadians since 2001, Niagaraâ€&#x;s immigrant growth rate was 6.5 percent. It appears that most of the immigrants are settling in the larger metropolitan centres and this may be attributable to the number of available jobs in all occupational categories.6 Education levels in Niagara vary when compared to provincial averages. Niagara holds a significant competitive advantage with respect to trade certificates and college-level certificate and diploma holders. This is a strong competitive advantage for the region especially as it seeks to attract a variety of manufacturing operations. The number of people with university certificate diplomas or degrees in Niagara is 16 percent compared to 24.6 percent in Ontario. Population Distribution of Level of Educational Attainment Niagara and Ontario, 2006
Less than high school
Niagara % 23.9
Ontario % 22.2
High school certificate or equivalent
Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma
College, CEGEP certification or diploma
University certificate diploma or degree
Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Community Profiles
Niagara Training and Adjustment Board. Top Report 2008 P.11
1.3 Public Policy Context-- Provincial and Federal The Ontario Government has created Places to Grow: A Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) that provides clearly identifiable provincial investment targets for land use, urban intensification, transportation, and infrastructure projects that directly impact the scope and direction of provincial growth. Its long-term implementation horizon to 2031 provides a planning context that will enable both public- and privatesector partners to address the escalating challenges of rapid growth and regional development in the GGH region, one of North America‟s fastest-growing metropolitan areas. The provincial policy and infrastructure development directions with respect to the GGH have clearly been targeted. Communities surrounding the GGH growth centres will become the economic generators of Ontario‟s future as they will inevitably attract more people, more investment, and new, higher-valued economic activities. The GGH policy framework attempts to reduce the inherent disparities that currently exist and will inevitably grow between Niagara and other regions within the GGH if change is not implemented. The Growth Plan has specifically identified downtown St. Catharines for intensive redevelopment (“Urban Growth Centre”) and recent investments by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade through NEDC to help that city create a plan and strategy to revitalize its inner core is a manifestation of the province‟s efforts to create more level playing fields across the GGH. Recent multi-level public-sector investment announcements support downtown St. Catharines as the “Urban Growth Centre” within Niagara. Approved projects include the Niagara Centre for the Arts $101 million investment, and the Carlisle Street Parking Garage replacement $28 million investment. Niagara is determined to maximize the benefits arising from the Growth Plan especially those that bear directly on the economic future of the region. A number of examples illustrate how business and civic leaders are working with the province to help grow Niagara and Ontario economy. First, one of the most pressing issues for Niagara is the establishment of a Niagara to Greater Toronto Area (NGTA) transportation corridor as part of an integrated provincial transportation network. Integrated, efficient multimodal transportation systems are vital to Niagara‟s and Ontario‟s success and prosperity. The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association states that, “Canada‟s transportation infrastructure must develop the capacity to meet the growing volume of goods traded within North America as well as with Asia and Europe. We must put in place the infrastructure and logistics systems that will enable Canada to become the logistics hub of North America.”
According to the Conference Board of Canada, “Private industry and all levels of government need to be relentless in pursuing the modernization and coordination of trade, transportation, and border infrastructure, including security, as a national priority.” The NGTA infrastructure project is one of the highest priorities of the Regional Council of Niagara and is a cornerstone of the Economic Growth Strategy. It has widespread support from the business community, municipal governments, and community leaders as its completion will help unlock the economic potential of central and southern areas of the peninsula. A major study was commissioned to analyze three elements: economic consequences of developing the corridor; the economic dislocations associated with delaying or not developing it; as well as how such a key transportation infrastructure project might be financed. Estimates of the corridor‟s economic impact now provide a compelling business case for accelerating provincial investment in this project. Second, the Growth Plan has specifically identified Niagara as the future location of a “Gateway Economic Zone,” adjacent to the Canada-United States border, and a “Gateway Economic Centre,” located as part of the southern tier growth areas. These designations are unique to the GGH and are conceived as economic entities that “will support economic diversity and promote increased opportunities for cross-border trade, movement of goods and tourism.” (Growth Plan p.18) The development of these new assets will drive regional economic activity by expanding employment lands, attracting both domestic and international investment, and bolstering employment within Niagara‟s workforce. Both entities could ultimately become components of the federal government‟s Ontario-Quebec Continental and Trade Corridor initiative. Third, the new growth policy will enable Niagara to address the rehabilitation of vacant, abandoned, or underutilized properties, one of the legacies of old economy manufacturing. The Region is committed to advancing the smart growth and brownfield redevelopment agenda. It has created a policy environment and incentives that are attracting the attention of innovative business and community development leaders. Major compact mixed-use residential and commercial restoration projects with densities that support investment in public transit are beginning to dot the Niagara landscape especially in our older urban communities. With the scarcity of development lands in Niagara, compounded by Greenbelt growth restrictions, these urban intensification projects are being built to last. Niagara‟s agricultural lands are unique compared to other jurisdictions in Ontario and Canada. The land base is so valued for its diversity and productive capacity that it has become the focus of special provincial statutes and regulations, land use regulatory commissions/task forces, prescriptive regional planning guidelines, and advocacy groups that are mandated to protect agriculture‟s special status.
With the release of the Provincial Policy Statement (2005) and Greenbelt Plan (2006), Ontario has provided provincial policy directions that will impact future land use development, place restrictions on various forms of economic activity, as well as ensure the preservation and conservation of Greenbelt lands within the GGH. Much of Niagara‟s productive and “unique tender fruit and grape” agricultural lands are impacted directly by the Greenbelt Plan. Their special status provides a growth context that creates both opportunities and obstacles for economic growth. By placing economic activity restrictions on these provincially significant agricultural lands, farmers, growers, and municipalities have limited development potential and will lose the revenues associated with more growth. The development restrictions on Greenbelt designated lands provide limits on the economic development potential of Niagara‟s established rural communities such as Grimsby, Lincoln, Pelham, Niagara-on-the Lake, and parts of the City of St. Catharines. The reality of this situation has major consequences for Niagara. It means that future population and business growth will inevitably have to be directed to the central and southern regions of Niagara. Niagara Region Council‟s approved “Grow South” strategy is a tacit acceptance and manifestation of the new growth directions for the future. Its central thrust is embodied in both Council‟s Business Plan 2007-2011 and the Niagara Growth Management Strategy 2031. From a regional perspective, the constraints of provincial growth policy have created a situation where Niagara has very little choice but to focus its major development plans on the “Grow South” strategy. This new growth scenario will impact Niagara‟s future landuse planning and will require building the necessary infrastructure of roads, sewers, water, utilities, and telecommunications to support residential as well as commercial and industrial development. The Ontario provincial government has begun making the necessary investments to support Niagara in the “Grow South” strategy. The province has committed $100 million to the extension of Highway 406 to 4 lanes from Port Robinson Road, Thorold, to East Main Street, Welland. In order to grow all of Niagara‟s economy, proactive policies and extra investment will be required by Ontario to create a level playing field to offset the growth restrictions that flow directly from the restrictive land use and development policies in Greenbelt designated areas.
APPENDIX B: Industry Sector Overviews
2.1 Manufacturing in Transition Manufacturing has been the Niagara region‟s most important economic sector from the earliest days of settlement in this historic part of Ontario. A number of strategic assets the Welland Canal, proximity to major hydroelectric sources radiating from Niagara Falls, and the region‟s ability to attract a skilled workforce from European countries gave the region early advantages in developing a diverse manufacturing base. These assets played a major role in expanding Niagara‟s manufacturing base. Niagara‟s situation was enhanced by its geographic location and its proximity to border crossings that connected Niagara with the industrial heartland of the USA. An expanding adjacent industrial economy in the northern United States enabled local manufacturers to access buyers and suppliers within a day‟s drive. As Niagara‟s economy grew, many large multinational manufacturers, e.g., General Motors, the Dana Corporation, John Deere, Cyanamid, Horton Steel, the Ontario Paper Company, assessed these advantages and established branch plant operations in the region. A “branch plant” ethic began to characterize Niagara‟s industrial base. Investment in research and new product development as well as sales and marketing functions of these companies remained headquartered in other parts of the world. Automotive parts manufacturers became one of the major drivers of a branch plant industrial base supplying engines, frames, axles, and other heavy components to the “big three” U.S. automotive assembly plants in Canada and the United States. This cluster, located primarily in St. Catharines and Thorold, ultimately became the largest sub-sector of manufacturing in Niagara. For example, in 1989 over 14,200 people worked in the transportation equipment sector, and its largest employer, General Motors of Canada, employed over 9,300 employees.7 The fortunes of this company have dramatically changed both in Niagara and elsewhere. Once the economic cornerstone of manufacturing in the region, the company‟s employment level at the St. Catharines plants now stands at 2,000 employees.8 Its growth potential is uncertain given the state of the traditional auto manufacturers across North America. Heavy primary metals industries became the economic drivers in communities like Welland and Port Colborne. Ten paper manufacturing mills in Thorold and St. Catharines shipped consumer packaging and newsprint products across North America. For example, large rolls of newsprint for the print media were shipped through the Great Lakes and by rail to such vertically integrated parent industry giants as the Chicago Tribune. A cluster network of tool and die, forging, and moulding companies became secondary parts suppliers to the automotive industry, and to other sectors, such as
St.Catharines Standard. February 18, 2002
2009-2010 Niagara Canada Business Directory. Niagara Economic Development Corporation. 2008.
aerospace, helped grow sizeable industries in communities like Welland, St. Catharines, Port Colborne, Thorold, and Fort Erie. Heavy structural steel fabricators of bridge components, large oil and commodity storage tanks, energy-generating turbines, and heavy construction members were manufactured and exported from plants located in Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, and Thorold. Specialty steel companies fed the heavy industrial industries of central Canada and the Great Lakes Basin. Local pipe manufacturers shipped large-dimension product to emerging energy centres in Western Canada and became essential to the growth of oil and gas transmission networks across Canada. Power-intensive chemical, fertilizer, and non-metallic mineral manufacturers located their operations close to hydro sources in Niagara Falls and Thorold. The largest concentration of shipbuilding and repair operations and supportive heavy secondary maritime industries in Central Canada settled along the Welland Canal with concentrations at Port Weller and Port Colborne. Aerospace parts manufacturers established a presence in Fort Erie. A small cluster of large and small electrical power manufacturers served the needs of utility and consumer markets from a base in St. Catharines. For a number of decades these manufacturing companies grew rapidly, stabilized the economy, and provided workers with secure, high-paying jobs. Manufacturing employment in Niagara peaked in the 1980s, and the economic benefits were spread across the entire regional economy. The cumulative impact of structural changes in the manufacturing sector has resulted in a precipitous decline in employment in manufacturing across North America, with the resulting effect in Canada, Ontario, and specifically Niagara. Employment in Manufacturing Industries: St. Catharines-Niagara CMA (000's) 1987-2008 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1987
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Market Survey, 1987-2008
Employment in Manufacturing Industries: St. Catharines-Niagara CMA (000's) 2003-2008 32 30 28 26 24 22 2003
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Market Survey, 1987-2008
Manufacturing Percent of Total Employment: St. Catharines-Niagara CMA and Ontario, 1987-2008 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2008 Niagara CMA
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Market Survey, 1987-2008
In 21 years, employment in this vital sector has fallen from 47,700 or 29.2 percent of total regional employment in 1987 to 23,900 or 12.1 percent of a larger workforce in 2008.9 The loss of high-paying manufacturing jobs has had a detrimental impact on the growth potential of secondary manufacturing and service industries. Employment within the large multinational manufacturing sector can be expected to continue to decline as branch plants are rationalized globally. A number of firms closed their operations; others simply relocated to lower-cost jurisdictions abroad; while others have reduced operations. There are many reasons for the loss of Niagara‟s once-powerful manufacturing base: highly competitive global markets, widespread consolidation and downsizing, declining market share, outdated and inefficient technological infrastructures, a lack of basic and applied research and development, agile and lean manufacturing production methods that challenged the skills of the workforce, and a relatively strong Canadian currency. However, as manufacturing is undergoing a fundamental transformation, many of the building blocks are already in place to redirect the Niagara manufacturing economy. Small- to medium-sized Niagara manufacturers with niche market products and services are poised for growth and expansion. Smaller, agile high-technology firms, such as Handling Specialty Manufacturing in Grimsby, Insight Avionics in Fort Erie, CRS Electronics in Welland, and Niagara Precision in St. Catharines are enjoying export success developing niche market products that customers around the world demand. They are at the forefront of a new Niagara. Despite the overall loss of jobs in manufacturing, the sector still makes the largest contribution to Niagara‟s Gross Domestic Product. Local goods producers continue to export their manufactured goods to over 95 countries and 47 American states.10 Research undertaken by KPMG has conclusively documented Niagara‟s competitive advantage as a cost-effective location to establish business operations.11 The region has a deep reservoir of entrepreneurial managers and skilled workers that are creating innovative, enterprising companies that are moving forward creating new products and markets. The collective impact of small- to medium-sized manufacturing operations on the regional economy has been substantial and continues to offset declines in traditional branch-plant manufacturing operations such as auto parts and heavy metal fabricating. Growth in highly specialized goods-producing sectors has attracted skilled workers, and this enabled indigenous manufacturing firms to achieve market success. Without growth in these smaller niche manufacturers, the reduction of jobs in this industry would have been more severe.
The St. Catharines-Niagara CMA is the standard geographic reference used by Statistics Canada to report labour force activity in the Niagara region. It does not include data for the Town of Grimsby and the Township of West Lincoln. 10
Niagara‟s Economic Profile. Community Benchmarks. 2002. Competitive Alternatives. KPMG 2006 p.62
This diversification by company size, products, and export markets augers well for Niagara‟s future and provides a solid platform to help brand the region‟s good-producing sector. 2.2 Tourism Niagara‟s tourism sector has developed into an international destination over the years. In the 1980s and 1990s, against a background of burgeoning growth in the global tourism industry, the region faced a number of challenges to retain or grow its legacy as one of the world‟s great tourist destinations. The powerful Niagara brand, one of the world‟s great tourist icons, was being eroded by outdated, poor-quality attractions, accommodations, and food establishments. Investments in tourism infrastructure, products, and services had not diversified in response to the changing consumer expectations of visitors. Quality standards across the industry had been neglected and the packaging of diverse experiences for different consumer markets had not taken hold. As a result, average traveler expenditures and length of stay in the region had not shown the dramatic increases that were occurring in other tourist destinations. A new vision for Niagara‟s tourism industry was needed. The local tourism industry and the Ontario government began to address Niagara‟s tourism challenges as a major provincial priority. The results came rather quickly. New entrepreneurial directions for tourism, coupled with a strong focus on quality infrastructure, innovative product development, and consumer-focused hospitality services have made the region a much more competitive destination once again. Early investments by Ontario in two casinos in Niagara Falls introduced a gaming environment for visitors. The construction of the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, valued at over $1 billion, had an immediate economic impact on the Niagara economy. This attraction helped trigger further investments on a scale that had not been seen before. In anticipation of growing demand for overnight accommodation, local investors and property owners, such as HOCO Entertainment and Resorts, began a massive capital investment program that has changed the tourism landscape of Niagara Falls. Soon major hotel chains, such as Sheraton, Hilton, and Marriot, began to be profiled in many of these properties. Quality attractions, golf courses, and theme parks have been enhanced to provide a diverse experience for families and travelers. Investments in high-end restaurants, hotels, boutique wineries, and over 250 upscale Bed and Breakfast operations in Niagara-on-the Lake have changed the character and attractiveness of this historic town. The growth of tourism hubs across the Niagara area has increased the allure of smaller regional communities such as the wineries and boutique shops along the Twenty Valley in Lincoln and the golf courses that dot rural Niagara. Increased investments in wineries and culinary tourism properties are directing discriminating travelers to the distinctive “Tastes of Niagara.” Investors can now target locations for new enterprise development 64
identified in Energizing Niagara‟s Wine Country Communities, a study commissioned by Niagara Economic Development Corporation, of business development opportunities in the area‟s distinctive wine regions. The growth of regional signature festivals and events, the roadside markets and agri-tourism sites, and the niche market products that come from rural boutique kitchens are attracting more visitors to the region‟s lush countryside. Collectively, the investments in tourism and accommodation infrastructure, new restaurants, and attractions in recent years have positioned tourism as a critical driver of economic activity in Niagara. However, markets are changing and the industry must begin to respond to the expectations of more affluent, discriminating travelers. A perception still lingers that Niagara, especially Niagara Falls, is a day trip or short-term stopover that appeals primarily to families with children. Findings from 2008 destination market research12 are identifying trends that will clearly impact how Niagara markets itself as a regional tourism sector. One of the key findings was that the varied experiences in Niagara of touring travelers significantly exceeded their expectations, which is extremely positive. The challenge is that not enough visitors are coming and not coming for a longer length of stay because of their limited awareness and knowledge of the breadth and variety of Niagara experiences across the entire region. Niagara’s Overall Image in the U.S. vs. the Competition
Percent Who Strongly Agree
"Great Place for a short/ weekend getaway" 100 80 60 40 20 0 Niagara Falls/ Niagara, ON Toronto, ON The Finger Lakes, Buffalo, NY Adirondacks, NY NY Source: Niagara Visitor and Image Research, Longwoods International, July 2008
Longwoods International, Niagara Visitor and Image Research, July 2008.
"Great place for a longer vacation"
Percent Who Strongly Agree
100 80 60 40 20 0 The Toronto, ON Finger Lakes, Adirondacks, NY NY
Thousand Islands, NY
Niagara, ON Niagara Falls/ Buffalo, NY
Source: Niagara Visitor and Image Research, Longwoods International, July 2008
Niagara's Product Strengths vs. Image in the U.S. Not too far away Easy to get to Great family resorts Exciting casinos Variety of man-made attractions Good weather in the fall A fun place A place I'd really enjoy visiting Good weather in the summer A good place to relax Great inns Exciting nightlife/entertaiment Great wineries 0
Difference in Percent Who Strongly Agree Source: Niagara Visitor and Image Research, Longwoods International, July 2008
Niagara's Product Strengths vs. Image in the U.S. (cont'd) Great service for tourists Great for bicycling Great for wine and food vacation Great for a winter trip Good weather in the spring Great B&B's Warm, friendly people Interesting towns/villages Great for walking Interesting historic areas First-class hotels/resorts 0
Difference in Percent Who Strongly Agree Source: Niagara Visitor and Image Research, Longwoods International, July 2008
A second theme underscores the need to broaden the appeal of Niagara and offer more varied and exciting destination experiences to discriminating adults. Travelers do not appear to be aware of the scope of the region‟s tourism products or experiences, especially those that would appeal to adults. Packaging Niagara‟s tourism offerings over a number of days that include discovery and exciting venues for adults would appear to be a required direction for the future that could build upon the positive perceptions that actual visitors already have of Niagara. Niagara‟s post-secondary institutions, led by Niagara College, have realigned their educational priorities with significant investments in tourism and hospitality training and infrastructure. With support from industry partners, the college has restructured its facilities, programs, and established specialized “centres of excellence,” such as the Niagara Culinary Institute and the Tourism Industry Development Centre in Niagara Falls. Since 2000, the high point of tourism in Niagara and Canada, the industry sector has experienced a decline in market share of international travel and expenditures. This situation is largely attributable to recent geo-political upheavals, SARS and related health concerns for travelers, travel restrictions into and out of the United States, a slowdown in North American economic activity, increased travel costs, and a rise in the value of Canadian currency. These factors are currently having a dramatic impact on the Niagara and Ontario tourism sector.
However, industry leaders are optimistic that the tourism industry will rebound once the recession is over come 2011/2012 with enhanced, attractive products and services for travelers and will continue to be one of the major drivers of the regional economy. Given the scope and diversity of recent investments in the tourism sector, Niagara is poised to realize one of its strategic goals for the tourism sector - to become a high-yield, year-round tourism destination for domestic and international visitors. A new Niagara Convention and Civic Centre, under development in Niagara Falls, will open up new markets and revenue streams for the region. Its completion will enable Niagara to compete for mass entertainment venues, conventions, as well as large consumer and trade shows. While Niagara has experienced significant turnaround in developing tourism infrastructure, products, and services, there remain challenges that have to be faced. Repositioning the region as a sustainable, multi-day, attractive destination for travelers is needed. Foremost among these challenges, according to current traveler research, is the need to develop a consistent, focused, and intensive marketing effort for Niagara in terms of what is being marketed. This indicates the need for a major shift in marketing emphasis and a re-branding of the entire Niagara area as a destination. 2.3 Agriculture and Agribusiness Niagara has a unique configuration of natural features, soil classifications, and climatic conditions. This combination of attributes has enabled the growth of a diverse range of agricultural commodities and economic enterprises and positioned Niagara as one of the leading agricultural areas in Ontario. Agriculture products and regional agribusinesses are industry sectors that have the potential to contribute to the restructuring of the local economy, attract new investment, and create new jobs. Niagaraâ€&#x;s commitment to developing a sustainable and profitable agricultural industry is unequivocal, focused, and grounded in a protective regulatory environment, as the following vision statement for agriculture attests: "Agriculture in Niagara is a diverse, multi-faceted industry based on a very special, limited, non-renewable resource created by a unique combination of physiography, soil, location and climate. The strength, stability and diversity of industry are recognized and will be promoted and protected so it can continue to grow and evolve for the benefit of present and future generations.â€? Niagara Regional Council May 2004 Niagara continues to build on the momentum associated with the release of Regional Councilâ€&#x;s Regional Agricultural Economic Impact Study13and Navigating Our Future:
Regional Agriculture Economic Impact Study. Regional Municipality of Niagara. July 2003.
Niagara‟s Economic Growth Strategy 2009-2012.14 These reports, along with others,15 document the positive economic performance of Niagara‟s agricultural commodity sectors in recent years as well as the potential for further expansion, especially within the agribusiness industries across the region. Niagara‟s agricultural output has changed rather significantly over the past two decades. The overall growth in agricultural farm-gate receipts has risen from a cumulative output of $256.55 million in 1986 to a base that exceeded $671 million in 2006.16 The high quality of agricultural output is reflected in the value of the gross farm receipts which, comparatively, exceeds the output of most other jurisdictions in Ontario. Although not a major contributor to Niagara‟s Gross Domestic Product, estimated to be only 2.0 percent of its total, nevertheless the region‟s 6,400 workers are a highly productive element of the regional economy. Two sectors of the agricultural economy are especially significant in terms of their contribution to the regional economy. The Niagara greenhouse industry has grown steadily to become the most important single sector of the regional agricultural economy. With over 22.1 million sq. ft. of growing space under glass or plastic and with 250 Niagara operators producing floral and vegetable products, Niagara‟s growers make a major contribution to the $3.9 billion economic impact that the greenhouse industry has on the Ontario economy.17 In addition, Niagara boasts a substantial infrastructure of mature secondary agribusinesses that supports the larger North American greenhouse industry. Greenhouse manufacturers, equipment and service suppliers, wholesalers, financial and marketing organizations, and training institutions offer a cluster of services to growers. The potential for expanding and developing new greenhouse products for new consumer markets within Canada, and especially in the United States, has yet to be fully realized. Niagara is the heartland of the Canadian grape and wine industry. With over 80 percent of the nation‟s cool climate viticulture acreage, Niagara is Canada‟s premiere grapegrowing area. Regional farmers are planting more acreage in grapes with more and different varieties coming on stream. Capital investments in lands, plant, and technology continue to re-enforce Niagara‟s reputation as the leading wine-producing region in Canada. Home to one of the emerging great wine areas of the world, Niagara‟s 100 14
Navigating Our Future: Niagara‟s Economic Growth Strategy 2009-2012. Niagara Economic Development Corporation. 2005. 15
Building on the Momentum: A Competitive Analysis of Industries in the Regional Municipality of Niagara. Niagara Economic & Tourism Corporation. December 2001 and Securing a Legacy for Niagara„s Agricultural Land: A Vision from One Voice, The Regional Chair‟s Agricultural Task Force Report. 2001; Agricultural Action Plan, The Regional Chair‟s Agricultural Task Force Report. 2006. 16
2006 Census of Agriculture. Statistics Canada
Greenhouses Grow Ontario. An Economic Impact Study of the Greenhouse Industry in Ontario. The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance. 2006
wineries and smaller cottage operations are producing some of the world‟s most soughtafter wines including a variety of internationally recognized “Ice Wines.” The Ontario wine industry has seen significant growth over the 1997-2007 period. A report by KPMG18 highlights the growth and economic impact of the industry that document increases in the number of wineries, the value and amount of Ontario grape purchases ($21.9 million to $64.4 million), winery volume sales (39.4 million litres to 62.4 million litres), average FOB prices, and the amount of taxes paid to governments. Total employment in the industry has grown from approximately 4,700 in 1997 to over 6,900 in 2007. The total value-added contribution to the Ontario economy from the wine industry is estimated to be in excess of $529 million, up from $202 million in 1997. A distinctive Niagara Wine Route guides visitors through the many wineries nestled in the small towns and rural areas of Niagara. New initiatives to support the industry, such as a Wine Country Enhancement program, are targeted to new economic growth and invite investment in complementary businesses at designated hubs along the route. The Niagara wine industry has assumed a pre-eminent role in developing new wine products, profitable enterprise opportunities, quality standards, export markets, and signature, year-round, wine-related festivals and events. Other agricultural sectors continue to diversify and strengthen the rural regional economy - poultry, dairy products, grains, and tender fruit. There are significant challenges on the horizon for Niagara‟s agricultural sector that are directly linked to Ontario‟s policy directions for future provincial growth and land use. Ontario has recognized that Niagara represents a unique convergence of a regional agriculture and agribusiness sector. It tacitly acknowledges that the economic development landscape has become quite complex and interwoven with provincial growth priorities and the specific program directions of a number of ministries. The export potential of crops destined for markets in the United States, such as greenhouse floral products and vegetables, and even manufactured products such as fabricated greenhouses, ventilation and irrigation systems continues to be adversely affected by a strong Canadian currency, energy and transportation costs, and border requirements. The closure of CanGro, a multinational fruit and vegetable processing plant, and Cadbury Schweppes, a foreign-owned processor of juice grapes, has reduced the number of largescale processing operations except for smaller cottage industry producers.
KPMG. Executive Summary-Study of the Ontario Economic Impact Content of Ontario Wines vs Foreign Wines and Ontario VQA Wines vs Ontario Cellared-in-Canada (CIC)Wines. September 2008.
There is a strong demand for food processors within the region that has yet to be met. The “buy local” movement is becoming increasingly supported by consumers and provides Niagara with substantial opportunities in the future. These opportunities require action and creative solutions as the expansion and diversification of Niagara‟s agriculture and agribusiness sector is a cornerstone of the region‟s strategy for the future. 2.4 Business Services Niagara‟s multi-faceted service economy has kept pace with growth trends at the provincial and national levels. Overall employment growth in regional services has helped offset declines in the historically important goods-producing sector of the economy, notably in the manufacturing sector. Total average annual employment in all sectors of the service economy in the NiagaraSt.Catharines CMA has grown from 99,600 in 1987 to 147,400 in 2007, an increase of nearly 48,000 workers over the last 20-year period. By way of contrast, average annual employment in the goods-producing sector including manufacturing, construction, utilities, agriculture, and the primary resource industries declined from 62,100 to 46,100 in the same period, as illustrated in the chart below. Employment by Industry: Goods Producing & Service Producing Sector for St. Catharines-Niagara CMA, 1987-2008 165 150 Goods Producing Sector
120 105 90
Service Producing Sector
75 60 45 30 15 0 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Source: Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, 1987-2008
Growth in Niagaraâ€&#x;s service-producing sectors has been uneven over the past two decades. A number of sectors have remained relatively static during this period. The diverse trade sector, with regional employment averaging about 30,000 over the last five years, has grown by 5 percent. Average employment in transportation and warehousing has remained just over 7,000, with some peaks and valleys over the 20-year span. Expected future growth in the logistics sector, as a result of the construction of the Niagara to GTA corridor and the development of the Gateway Economic Zone, will likely increase the number of companies in warehousing, distribution, and freight forwarding in the Niagara Falls/Fort Erie border areas. The finance, insurance, real estate and leasing sectors have decreased slightly from 1987, but it continues to employ about 8,000 in 2007. Some sectors in the service sector have shown more robust growth reflecting structural changes in the regional economy. Public administration employment has increased from 4,500 to 7,700, or 71 percent since 1987, reflecting the presence of four levels of government within the region, including concentrations of federal employment in security and customs agencies at the regionâ€&#x;s major border crossings. Select Service Producing Sectors: St. Catharines-Niagara CMA, 1987-2007
25 Business, Building and Other Support Services
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
Health Care and Social Assistance
5 Information, Culture and Recreation 0 1987
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 1987-2007
As the above chart indicates, employment in the professional, scientific, and technical service sector has more than doubled to over 7,600 highly skilled workers from a base of 3,200 in 1987. This sector captures many of the new enterprises that are changing the regionâ€&#x;s business landscape including independent entrepreneurs who operate alone or employ fewer than five employees. It also includes professional engineering, and 72
software specialists, research and development experts, and specialized staff working for major consulting firms. Large increases in average annual employment have characterized other service sectors. Employment in the information, culture, and recreation sectors has grown well beyond provincial concentrations over the past two decades, from 5,400 to over 13,800. This dramatic increase reflects the significant growth occurring in call centre operations and the gaming establishment workforce. It also mirrors growth in telecommunications, publishing, as well as the artists, writers, and performers associated with the cultural arts. Annual employment growth has risen from 16,000 in 1987 to over 22,200 in 2007 in health care and social assistance services, notably in home health care services, outpatient care centres, medical and diagnostic laboratories, health professions, and other health care practitioners. Growth in these sectors has been steady and will likely increase as demographic shifts in the regional population increases the concentration of early retirees and seniors in our communities with attending need for more extensive health care services. Business, building, and other support services currently employ over 11,200, a significant increase over a much smaller workforce of 3,200 in 1987. This sector includes a diverse range of business services including waste management and remediation services, investigation and security services, facilities support services, employment services, travel and recreation services, and other business services. The workforce in education services, including employment at Brock University, Niagara College, the two boards of education, and private trade schools has grown from 9,700 in 1987 to 12,400 in 2007. The net increase reflects workforce growth in the postsecondary institutions, relatively flat growth in elementary and secondary education, and the emergence of non-traditional, trade-related private training enterprises. 2.5 Culture The culture, arts, and heritage sectors of the economy are significant contributors to the economic performance of Canadaâ€&#x;s national and regional economies. As a focus of economic activity, the role of the cultural sector in creating employment, building social cohesion, and improving quality of life cannot be underestimated. Research findings recently released by the Conference Board of Canada have highlighted the economic importance of the creative economy as of 2007. â€œThe Conference Board of Canada estimates that the real value-added output by culture sector industries totalled $46 billion in 2007, approximately 3.8 percent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The economic footprint of the cultural sector is much larger, when accounting for combined direct, indirect, and induced effects. The Conference
Board calculates thus full contribution was valued at $84.6 billion, about 7.4 percent of total real GDP, in 2007.”19 This national base of economic activity accounted for 1.1 million jobs in 2007. Richard Florida, the renowned futurist who was a major presenter at the 2008 NiagaraPalooza is steadfast in his belief that a dynamic regional cultural arts sector provides the impetus for stimulating creativity generally, attracting innovative and creative people who want to live, work, and invest in an area, as well as helping brand a region with a vibrant sense of place. He believes that Niagara has all the assets and talent needed to form the nucleus of a strong arts and culture-based economic cluster. Culture, arts, and heritage sectors have been a significant part of the Niagara‟s economy with deep roots in its bi-national history, its centres for the performing arts such as the Shaw Festival, and a host of community theatres, its museums, nationally designated historical sites and forts, its heritage and re-enactment societies, its musical festivals, and its links to the high-profile wine industry. We know through direct experience that the cumulative economic impact of data on the culture, arts, and heritage sectors is substantial although specific regional data on the economic impact is quite sparse. Previous research on this subject reveals, however, a higher concentration of employment in the cultural arts in Niagara.20 New initiatives are under way in Niagara to bolster the cultural, arts, and heritage sectors. These projects are underpinning new growth options for the future and reflect priorities identified in the regional economic strategy. Three examples will highlight new directions that will help change the creative landscape of the region. Brock University and the City of St. Catharines plan to build and renovate facilities in downtown St. Catharines to provide new amenities for Brock‟s Marilyn I. Walker School for the Fine and Performing Arts. The City of St. Catharines is also building a Niagara Centre for the Arts facility, physically integrated with the new facility for Brock‟s school. The programming of the Brock Centre for the Arts would move from the main campus to the new Niagara Centre for the Arts. The Niagara Centre for the Arts will also provide a venue for many regional and visiting arts and performance groups, including the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, the Niagara Chorus, and others. The project will have a total cost of $101 million and involve public investment from multiple parties, including Brock University, the City of St. Catharines, as well as the provincial and federal governments. The feasibility study now completed, establishes the parameters, estimated cost, and economic impact of the Niagara Centre for the Arts. It is also the intent of the university that Brock‟s School for the Fine and 19
Valuing Culture: Measuring and Understanding Canada‟s Creative Economy. Conference Board of Canada. August 2008. p.5 20 Building on the Momentum: A Competitive Analysis of Industries in the Regional Municipality of Niagara. Niagara Economic and Tourism Corporation. December 2001
Performing Arts will, in its new location, develop extensive additional partnerships with a growing cluster of arts and entertainment industries, especially enterprises in the area of interactive media. A Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council has been established to assume a leadership role in promoting celebratory projects, activities, and events related to the War of 1812. Operating as an inclusive volunteer organization, the Council is providing overall guidance and direction to the many bi-national organizations that will launch commemorative events and activities that relate to 1812 and underscore the lasting friendship that has evolved between Canada and the U.S. Momentum is building among organizations in Ontario and Western New York including Aboriginal and Native American communities; museums, forts, and heritage societies; universities, colleges, and other educational sectors; private business; and media to ensure that the anniversary will engage many regional volunteers, create a high level of community awareness, attract visitors over a two-year period, and create a tangible memorial legacy that will remain as a symbol of the Bicentennial celebration. The provincial and federal governments, as well as the City of Niagara Falls have announced a $9.7 million investment in the Niagara Falls Lundyâ€&#x;s Lane Battlefield Legacy Project, which coincides with the 1812 Bi-centennial celebrations. This investment will be used for the Lundyâ€&#x;s Lane Historical Museum expansion, as well as additional infrastructure enhancement in the area of Lundyâ€&#x;s Lane. Collectively the culture, arts, and heritage sectors are alive with innovative projects, festivals, and events that celebrate creative pursuits, generate wealth-creating activities, and contribute to making Niagara an attractive destination for the discriminating traveler.
APPENDIX C: Emerging Industry Clusters
3.1 Harnessing Niagara’s Higher Education System Canada and essentially all industrialized nations are facing unprecedented challenges resulting from economic growth, technological innovation, and accelerating workforce retirements. The competition for talented workers with the right combination of skills and work ethic is intense, global in its scope, and a primary focus of economic development in most growing regions of the country. The reasons are self-evident and indisputable - the link between a country‟s higher education system, the excellence of its infrastructure and economic development is direct and fundamental. With international competition forcing regional economies to dramatically increase productivity in all sectors, the pace of innovation and the creation and rapid diffusion of new ideas, products, and services has quickened. This advancement cannot occur without the focused engagement of post-secondary institutions as economic partners. Niagara is at a critical juncture in the transformation of its economy where it must maximize the innovative capacity, intellectual assets, and talent pools of Brock University and Niagara College. More than ever, the region needs to maintain and strengthen the basic and applied research and economic development capacity of this higher education system to help local industries, occupations, and communities prepare for a different future. “The winning societies in the 21st century will be those that, like Ontario, invest in aggressive innovation agendas that build on the talent and creativity of their people.” (Seizing Global Opportunities: Ontario‟s Innovation Agenda)
Both Brock University and Niagara College are responding with focused support to play a vital role in developing the economic foundations for Niagara‟s future. They are determined to develop the skills and talent pools that create entrepreneurial activity as well as build the collaborative partnerships with industry that can convert opportunities into new forms of economic activity. Leaders of both institutions have declared their support and continue to invest in and develop the right mix of educational resources that will enable Niagara to compete for investment, industries, and jobs. Each institution has a unique contribution to make to the diversification of Niagara‟s economy.
3.2 Economic Cluster Development Developing and maximizing the potential of industry clusters has become a priority in shaping the economic future of many Ontario communities. Clusters are more than a group of leading industries in an industry sector. Similar industries must be able to leverage an integrated supplier base that provides essential materials, information, and technologies. Clusters must also be able to access shared local human resources, appropriate physical infrastructure, unique research and development, and financing. These inter-relationships are depicted in the figure below.
Niagara has multiple distinctive economic clusters that are recognized for their capacity to support growth and a sustainable, mixed economy. These include tourism and hospitality services, the greenhouse floriculture and vegetable industry, Niagaraâ€&#x;s wineries, customs and brokerage services, and automotive parts industries. Stimulating the growth of innovative, diversified economic clusters is directly imbedded in Niagaraâ€&#x;s economic strategy and implementation plans for the future.21 This vision and development agenda is also aligned with the policy directions and priorities of Ontario, area municipalities, institutional and industry partners. The revised economic strategy specifically seeks to direct investment and development to expand the base of companies around the following emerging strategic industry clusters. For the implementation of the strategy to be successful, the building of ongoing international relationships will be required through missions and trade shows that are fully supported by regional and municipal leaders.
Navigation Our Future: Niagaraâ€&#x;s Economic Growth Strategy. 2005-2010. Niagara Economic Development Corporation April 2005.
Niagara has become a nascent incubator for stimulating the growth of “green” industries as well as a variety of new technologies related to alternative and sustainable energy sources. Surrounded by water on its three sides and protected by unique lands dividing the peninsula into distinctive ecological and environmental zones, Niagara offers unique opportunities for investment and innovative business partnerships for green enterprise development. In September 2009, the Ontario Green Energy Act was announced. This legislation gave the province a competitive advantage over other North America jurisdictions in renewable energy by introducing the feed in tariff. Ontario's “feed-in tariff" program, pays power producers a set price for energy from renewable sources in some cases e.g. solar energy, far above market rates. The Act also introduced domestic content regulations which refer to the percentage of local labour and manufacturing required to be eligible for the feed-in tariff. The percentages differ depending on the type of renewable energy used and increase after January 2011 for solar and January 2012 for wind. In support of this activity, the province has also announced an investment of $2.3 billion in transmission infrastructure which will reduce timelines and risk involved with renewable energy power projects. Wind and solar energy development, as a source of affordable and reliable electrical power, has emerged as a priority across North America. Niagara, Canada has a number of significant advantages and is on the threshold of becoming a major player in the shift to green energy manufacturing. The region‟s strategic location, manufacturing capabilities, export markets, efficient transportation access by road, rail, and water through the Welland Canal, an established component supply chain, make the region an ideal location for growing this emerging industry sector. Niagara is at the center of the Great Lakes region, where prevailing wind patterns affording higher wind speeds, better wind consistency, and greater air density makes it an area highly favourable for offshore and shoreline wind power. Geographically and strategically immersed in a firmly integrated bi-national economy has also encouraged numerous multinational manufacturers to locate in this globally competitive environment. A deep sensitivity to green environmental and energy conservation issues is widespread within the businesses and population of Niagara, with a talent pool of experienced professional engineers and skilled trades people available to design, manufacture, assemble, and install wind energy components. New local developments are spurring the growth of new varieties of energy-efficient heat recovery and water purification technologies. The region has a number of leading-edge 78
cogeneration projects that are maximizing energy efficiencies from production processes, and consulting firms, such as Hatch Energy, continue to provide engineering and project management support for the construction of hydro-electric power dams worldwide. Rankin Construction has entered into formal partnership with Regional Niagara to establish a $23 million wind farm project in Wainfleet on the shores of Lake Erie and a six-megawatt hydro-electric power generating operation at one of the overflow spills on the Welland Canal. This innovative contractor is developing alternative renewable energy resources to exploit the economic potential of new green power projects within the region. CRS Electronics, a Welland-based manufacturer of high intensity lighting utilizing Light Emitting Diode (LED) technologies, continues to expand its research and development capacities as a leader in the field. CRS now boasts automated production processes using custom-made robotic equipment capable of producing LED products for police, ambulance, fire, school transportation, and a range of emergency vehicle lighting manufacturers. It has also expanded its operations into providing LED lighting solutions for major renovation and brownfield redevelopment projects. To recycle waste and reclaim bio-product materials for new uses, a new company, Universal Resource Recovery, has been established in Welland on the site of an abandoned manufacturing firm. In Thorold, Associated Brownfields Inc. will be rehabilitating lands on a former industrial site by applying new technologies to clean the soil and recover metal deposits prior to the siteâ€&#x;s redevelopment as a residential and commercial area. Earth Tech, a St. Catharines-based environmental services company, has evolved into one of Ontarioâ€&#x;s leaders in offering engineering, remediation, construction, contract operations, and management, air quality management, water and wastewater engineering, solid waste management, and transportation and infrastructure engineering services. An innovative Canadian developer of household sanitizing systems, Tersano Inc. in St. Catharines, is changing the way we think about cleaning chemicals. Its state-of-the-art technology provides consumers with products and application assistance to reduce or eliminate the need for toxic chemicals in homes. Public institutions and community agencies are also leading the way in the development of projects to support green technologies. The City of Welland has become part of an international consortium of cities committed to using LED (light-emitting diode) lighting technologies within their electrification grids to reduce energy usage, provide better light quality for improved visibility and safety, and to protect the environment. In recognition of its energy conservation efforts, Welland has been designated as a LED City. The Niagara Region Strategy for Development and Conservation, known as the Policy Plan, has identified major directions for balancing urban growth, economic development, and the conservation of natural resources. The plan has established clear policies for the protection of agricultural lands and the management of natural resources areas through environmentally-sound resource use. The Region is demonstrating the utility of a 79
conservation ethic and has imbedded many energy-saving features, such as LED lighting, as an integral part of its own green operations and recent physical expansion. The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), working with governments and local communities, continues to expand its preservation and environmental protection programs and projects, develop new natural heritage sites, as well as implement watershed planning and restoration programs. For example, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Environment Canada, the Authority has developed a strategic implementation work plan to restore and protect the environmental integrity of the Niagara River. Government agencies and community organizations on both sides of the river are working to develop clean-up plans to help restore and the protect water quality of this bi-national resource. Niagara College offers a full range of applied research skills in agriculture, experiments with new floral products in its greenhouses, manages over 25 acres of production and experimental vineyards, and tests new wine products at its Niagara College Teaching Winery, the only facility of its kind in Canada. The college‟s 25 Year Master Plan to make the Glendale Campus a “living laboratory” through its applied research programs in environmental and horticultural studies, and its vineyards, wetlands, and ecological centres is already in the early stages of development. These private- and public-sector initiatives are responding to a growing level of public awareness and concern over environmental protection, energy conservation, and sustainable growth. This heightened attention is fostering a strong conservation ethic and is providing the impetus for expanding a wide range of “green” industries and services in local economies. With its abundant base of natural and manufacturing resources, Niagara is ideally positioned to unlock the economic potential of regional green industry development and provide new occupational pursuits for its skilled work force. 3.2.2
Assessments of Niagara‟s assets and competitive strengths related to bio-product manufacturing development have confirmed the underlying potential of this sector locally. Directions identified for Niagara in the Golden Horseshoe Biosciences Network‟s proposed development agenda suggest significant potential for value-added enterprise development in the sector. With established cluster specialization already developing in the “Carbohydrate Valley” in Port Colborne, a new Vineland Research and Innovation Centre for the agriculture industry, and a growing number of Niagara-based bio-product manufacturers such as Norgen Biotek Corporation, Biolyze Pharma, and Casco Inc., the region is positioned to exploit the benefits of bio-product advancement. Ongoing research at Brock University‟s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, its proposed Centre of Innovation for Biomanufacturing, and its strong science-based programs will provide a vibrant centre of research excellence to stimulate growth in this 80
emerging cluster. Niagara College‟s applied research skills in agriculture, its new wine products and development initiatives at its Niagara College Teaching Winery, and its established reputation as a centre for advanced manufacturing education and training will help foster the growth of bio-product manufacturing throughout Niagara. 3.2.3
The success of a number of local interactive media companies, such as Silicon Knights, attests to the potential for business expansion and growth in one of Ontario‟s priority industry sectors. Advancing cluster development in this emerging field opens up unparalleled opportunities for micro-enterprise development in such fields as interactive design, 3D modeling for animation and games, digital film and video, computer gaming, Web casting, and other specializations. The creation of a dedicated Niagara Interactive Media Generator (nGen) training facility and business incubator in downtown St. Catharines will create a pool of expertise and entrepreneurial talent drawn from post-secondary education and industry leaders that will enable graduates to develop satisfying careers and new business locally. Learning from nGen can serve as a foundation for expanded international or other incubators that position Niagara as a unique location for entrepreneurs and SMEs Other partnerships will be leveraged, such as with the Centre for Advanced Visualization at the college‟s Glendale Campus, that will strengthen and help grow other creative alliances in advanced interactive visualization technologies. 3.2.4
Health and Wellness
A heightened consciousness concerning personal fitness and healthy lifestyle in all age groups have helped spur growth in selected industry sectors and occupations related to health care, residential care facilities, active recreation, and nutrition. These sectors have emerged as regional economic drivers in the last decade and are destined to experience growth in the future.22 “The Niagara Health and Biosciences Research Complex along with the Centre of Innovation for Biomanufacturing will change the face of manufacturing in Ontario by creating a new economic cluster in biomanufacturing and health and wellness in Niagara.” Jack N. Lightstone, President, Brock University Brock University‟s new signature Health and Biosciences Research Complex, which will house the Centre of Innovation for Biomanufacturing, will actually serve the development of three proposed cluster areas: Biomanufacturing, Green Industry processes, and Health and Wellness. This $90 million project, a multi-purpose facility funded by the provincial and federal governments and private donors, will be the 22
Building on the Momentum: A Competitive Analysis of Industries in the Regional Municipality of Niagara. Niagara Economic and Tourism Corporation.
centrepiece of the university‟s commitment to stimulate the region‟s emerging knowledge-based economies. Niagara College has recently been approved for $40 million in provincial and federal funding towards the Niagara College Applied Health Institute. The new facility will provide permanent space for the college‟s Registered Practical Nurse and Personal Support Worker programs and will provide additional space for existing applied health programs. Also, new classroom and lab space will create the opportunity to provide new programs in applied health sciences that will service the Niagara region. In addition, a Health and Wellness Services Growth Plan specifically identifying opportunities for establishing a multifaceted “Life Sciences Campus on the Canal” to consolidate emerging health-related services and industries as part of a revitalization plan for the King Street area in Welland is gaining widespread public support. It will engage the leadership, expertise, and business development of both the university and the college and the new Niagara Regional Health Care facility. This consortium of local institutions will become creative hubs for advancing health and social services for the region‟s older population, innovative medical care, and healthy lifestyles. Business expansion and innovative products and services that reflect and support demographic and adult lifestyle trends represent untapped opportunities within Niagara‟s health and wellness fields. 3.2.5
Expanding Other Potential Clusters
Brock University and Niagara College will continue to build upon and expand its resource base to expand and enhance other sectors of the regional economy with growth potential. Both institutions are committed to aligning their programs and developments with targeted initiatives to grow the economy of the future. Brock University will continue to resource its Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute to support and expand basic research that will help Niagara‟s and Ontario‟s grape growers and wineries. This sector already enjoys national dominance in products and markets. The university‟s longer-term development plans will see the relocation of many of its humanities and performing arts programs onto a dedicated campus in St. Catharines. This creative hub will support the growth of the region‟s entertainment, theatre, music, and cultural industries, and the priority sectors of the Ontario and Niagara economy whose full potential has yet to be realized. Investments by Niagara College in trades and technology training are helping the region‟s goods-producing sectors renew existing companies, generate opportunities for new companies and industries, and create high-paying jobs. Recent funding of $15.4 million from Ontario‟s Skills to Jobs Action Plan will create 730 new training spaces in Welland
for apprenticeships and technical skills training to help the local construction and renovation industry. In summary, economic development has become tougher, more complex, and highly competitive. To prosper and grow all segments of the economy, Niagara must help build economic clusters, promote diversification, and create an entrepreneurial climate that will meet the challenges and become the catalysts for economic growth. Our two post-secondary institutions must increasingly assume a major role as a catalyst for growth and a reliable source of innovation in emerging industries that are poised for growth. Applied research and the commercialization of innovative ideas need to be advanced, sustained, and developed to new levels of excellence and extended to the regionâ€&#x;s major industry sectors. Physical plant, specialized laboratories, research and training infrastructure will require focused investment. Concerted effort will be required to leverage the potential of institutional expertise, their specialized centres of excellence, their workforce training systems, and above all the graduates, many of whom wish to develop satisfying careers here in Niagara. To be successful in attracting new investments to both institutions from provincial and federal governments, there needs to be â€œone voiceâ€? support among Niagara leaders.