2016 a strong year for job growth and investment in Halton

Halton welcomes more than 4,000 new jobs in 2016

Whether you’re running a multi-national company, opening a small business or looking for employment opportunities closer to home, Halton Region has proved, once again, that our region is a highly attractive location to live, work and invest. The latest statistics from the 2016 Economic Review indicate that continued investment and economic development led to 4,000 new jobs being added to the local economy.

Attracting business investment, supporting business start-ups and creating new jobs is more than just about the numbers – it’s about planning for a balance of business development, growth and sustainability to ensure a high quality of life for all, and providing meaningful employment opportunities in the community for our highly skilled residents.

Still, the numbers are impressive. Here are some statistics that point to our successes in job growth and business development in 2016:

  • 4,273 new jobs created in 2016.
  • Halton is home to 15 of the top 500 fastest growing companies in Canada in 2016:
    • ABL Employment
    • Acorn Global Investments
    • Astound Group
    • Avnan
    • Burlington Merchandising & Fixtures
    • ClubRunner
    • Dynamic Connections
    • HostPapa
    • Javelin Technologies
    • MarkIT Staffing Solutions
    • Mico Systems
    • Rock Star Real Estate
    • Rock Universe (Blue Rays)
    • Secure Sense Solutions
    • Three O Four
  • Halton’s unemployment rate is 5.5 per cent which is lower than the GTA, Ontario and Canadian averages of 7.0 per cent, 6.6 per cent and 7.0 per cent, respectively.
  • $832.5 million invested in institutional, commercial and industrial construction, an increase of 21 per cent since 2015, with an average annual increase of 19 per cent over the last decade.
    • $368.5 million invested in new commercial construction in 2016, an increase of 33 per cent since 2015.
    • 42 per cent increase in institutional development since 2015; 73 per cent increase over the last decade.
  • $2.14 billion worth in new building permits – a record-setting year.

These figures tell us an important story – businesses continue to invest in Halton Region and we continue to grow. With low taxes, easy access to major markets and commitment to building a healthy and complete community, Halton has what every business is looking for and offers a place where employees feel at home.

To learn more about our economic success, job growth or to read the 2016 Economic Review visit halton.ca/invest.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Halton Region Small Business Centre Provides Support and Networking for Entrepreneurs

At Halton Region, we are committed to helping local entrepreneurs succeed. We work with all levels of government and community partners to support small business enterprises in Halton. Our Small Business Centre offers free consultations, networking opportunities and educational sessions to support entrepreneurs, youth and newcomers looking to start, run and grow businesses in Halton, which helps our economy thrive now and in the future.

Here are some exciting entrepreneurial events coming up in March:

  • Wednesday, March 8: International Women’s Day Networking Breakfast

    Halton Region’s Small Business Centre is proud to participate in this international event that recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and women entrepreneurs globally.

    This year’s theme, “Entrepreneurship Across the Generations,” addresses the various expectations and needs of women entrepreneurs at different stages of their careers. The event offers women a chance to connect with peers, learn from each other, and provide support and inspiration through shared examples of success. The event is held in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth.

  • Tuesday, March 28: Foodiepreneur Event

    The theme for this year’s event is “The Business of Food” where attendees will learn the best recipe for starting and running a successful food business.

    Attendees will hear from local spotlight speakers about their personal experiences with their foodie businesses. They will also learn about food safety rules and regulations, required licenses and permits; and find out more about funding opportunities, connections to local farmers, and the hot topic of ‘commercial kitchens.’

With its high standards of living, strong local economy and quality public services, Halton is one of the best places in Canada to grow a business. I encourage you and your small business to register for upcoming events and learn why more and more businesses are choosing to locate and grow in Halton Region.

To register for upcoming events or learn more about the programs and services available through the Small Business Centre, please visit halton.ca/smallbusiness.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Halton Region helps small businesses succeed

Halton Region is committed to helping local small businesses succeed year round. We support entrepreneurs, youth and newcomers looking to start, run and grow their businesses in the region. One of the ways that we support the small business community is through the Halton Region Small Business Centre.

We know that starting and running a small business requires planning and a great deal of effort.  The Centre provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with the tools and resources to start and continue to grow their businesses. Over the past 10 years, staff have responded to over 100,000 inquiries and met with over 10,000 clients in one-on-one consultations. These initiatives are proving successful as more and more businesses are choosing to locate here.

This fall, our Small Business Centre will host a number seminars, educations sessions and events targeted at small business owners and youth entrepreneurs within Halton Region. Some of the events coming up this fall include:

  • Global Entrepreneurship Week events (November 14 to 21)
  • Foodiepreneur Workshop (November 22)

These events aim to help small businesses who are either starting out or looking to grow, with the chance to network and share ideas.

Congratulations to all our entrepreneurs for your achievements over the past year, and for your continued success in shaping Halton’s future.  Thanks to your efforts, Halton continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For more information about the Halton Region Small Business Centre, please visit www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca or dial 311. You can also follow the Halton Region Small Business Centre on Twitter at @HaltonEcDev, on Facebook and on WordPress.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

Investing in the safety and health of Halton residents

Regional Council recently approved almost $1.5 million in funding for 28 community health and social service programs and projects. The funding, provided through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund, will help keep our communities safe and healthy and is part of what makes Halton such a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

One of the great things I get to experience daily as Regional Chair is the opportunity to meet people in Halton who are making important contributions to the lives of others in the community. We have a vibrant non-profit sector with dedicated staff and thousands of volunteers who provide community programs and services to people of all ages in Halton. The Community Investment Fund makes it possible for these programs to expand their services, enhance their equipment or even try something new.

The community investment fund supports innovative initiatives including providing cost-free arts programs to children from low-income families; helping to reduce wait lists for children needing assessment and treatment services; supporting single mother-led families and other programs that are so important to a happy and healthy Halton. For a full listing of the programs/projects being funded this year, visit halton.ca/investmentfund.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

New and exciting businesses help make Halton a great place to live and do business

According to Halton’s most recent economic update, the region’s unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2014 (July-September) was 4.1 per cent – that is one of the lowest unemployment rates in all of North America. That’s great news and an indication that Halton Region’s 10-year Economic Development Strategy is right on track.

An important part of that strategy is bringing exciting, innovative and diverse businesses to our region. Last summer was proof that Halton truly is a great place to do business and below are some of the highlights:

  • iFly Toronto opened its new indoor skydiving facility in Oakville (Winston Churchill & QEW) – the first of its kind in the Greater Toronto Area;
  • The Government of Canada announced a $3.3 million investment in Communications and Power Industries Canada Inc. (CPI Canada) in Halton Hills;
  • Burger King and Tim Horton’s (based out of Oakville) announced their planned merger (which will form the world’s third-largest fast-food company) and corporate headquarters is expected to be in Canada;
  • A $30 million redevelopment of the RioCan Oakville Place that will include the first Pusateri’s Fine Foods in the West GTA and is expected to create approximately 150 jobs when it opens at the end of the year;
  • The Town of Milton transferred 150 acres of land, valued at around $50 million, to Wilfrid Laurier University, endorsing Laurier’s plan to build a new university campus in Milton; and
  • The Town of Oakville received a 2014 Google eTown Award, which recognizes the digital savviness of a community’s businesses.

Halton remains a hotspot for commercial and residential construction. Commercial retail and office construction increased 89 per cent, from almost $44 million to nearly $83 million, and the residential sector invested over $189 million, for a 22 per cent increase over the same period last year.

Not only are Halton businesses investing here, community organizations invested almost $30 million to ensure Halton remains a great place to live with the new Islamic Centre of Oakville investing $10 million; the addition to the Acton Arena investing $10 million; and renovations at the Hockey Training Academy in Oakville investing $6.3 million.

Whether it’s industrial, commercial or residential investment, Halton’s strong economy is thriving. Welcome to all the new businesses joining the Halton community and helping to grow our regional economy!

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Providing employment lands in Halton to keep our economy strong!

Halton Region is an economic hotspot! Businesses are choosing to locate here because of our low taxes, strong financial position and high quality of life. Halton has had eight consecutive years with a tax freeze and has made significant investments in infrastructure. For example Halton committed $289 million to Regional roads in 2013, an increase from $50 million in 2006. Importantly, 99% of Halton residents rate their quality of life as very high, something we are committed to maintaining.

Providing employment lands in Halton is critical to ensuring we support the Region’s long-term economic development potential. With 14 existing and three new employment areas planned by 2021 – Winston Park West in Oakville, Derry Green in Milton and 401 Corridor East in Halton Hills – Halton is investing in a long-term supply of employment lands to meet our forecasted growth and strengthen our economy.

To further grow and support our strong economy there is important work being done with Halton’s local municipalities.

City of Burlington:

The City of Burlington and the Burlington Economic Development Corporation have undertaken a major Employment Lands Strategy to review the competitiveness and marketing of its five distinct employment districts – Prosperity Corridor (QEW East and West), Downtown, 407, 403 West and Bronte Meadows (west of Burloak Drive).

Town of Halton Hills:

Halton is working closely with the Town of Halton Hills to leverage the infrastructure in place for the Toronto Premium Outlets. The servicing of the Halton Hills 401 Corridor east of Trafalgar Road supports the Halton Hills Premier Gateway. The Region and Town are also working on a Regional Official Plan Amendment to service the employment lands (between Sixth and Eighth Lines and north of Steeles Avenue) to facilitate development before 2021.

Town of Milton:

Halton Region and the Town of Milton are working together to obtain final approval for the existing Derry Green Corporate Business Park Secondary Plan. Once the Secondary Plan is approved, Halton Region will move forward with servicing for Derry Green which will allow the Town to capitalize on the next wave of office and industrial developments.

Another exciting development is the Mattamy National Cycling Centre (Milton velodrome) currently under construction for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Games. The velodrome is part of the larger Milton Education Village. The proposed future home of the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre is currently located at 555 Industrial Drive. The Milton Education Village could feature a 150-acre Wilfrid Laurier University satellite campus.

Town of Oakville:

The new Oakville Hospital is the catalyst for the Town to create a distinct 200-acre global innovation park focused on the life sciences and technology sectors. The proposed Life Sciences & Technology Park will include a cluster of companies in product development, services and research and development (R&D). The Park also proposes to integrate academic institutions that link education and business in R&D and commercialization initiatives. Transportation and regional infrastructure upgrades are underway throughout Oakville to support both the new hospital and the Winston Park West employment district on the west side of Highway 403.

By protecting and investing in our employment lands we’re ensuring Halton’s economy will remain strong. See first-hand how Halton’s strong economy supports the high quality of life for Halton residents – keeping Halton a great place to live, work and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Halton Region Small Business Centre: helping Halton’s economy thrive

With small businesses contributing an increasing amount to Halton’s strong economy, Regional Council is committed to supporting small businesses as they establish themselves and expand. Attracting and retaining jobs is a top priority for Halton Region and I am pleased to report that through our work with staff, Regional Council and our Local Municipalities we continue to deliver impressive results.

A strong business investment in the region helped Halton’s unemployment rate drop to 4.7% in 2013, significantly lower than the rest of the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario. While it is important that we continue to attract businesses such as the Toronto Premium Outlets Mall, Gypsum Technologies, Amazon.com, UPS Canada and Lowes Canada, it is also crucial that we support our small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Region’s strong economy relies on people with the resilient entrepreneurial spirit. We are committed to developing and supporting our local small businesses and those who are considering becoming an entrepreneur. One of the ways that we support the small business community is through the Halton Region Small Business Centre.

The Small Business Centre works collaboratively with Halton’s innovation partners including HalTech and the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre to promote and grow Halton’s entrepreneurial and innovative spirit. The Halton Region Small Business Centre also assists entrepreneurs and small business owners through a number of key program areas. These supports include:

Businesses of all sizes, including new entrepreneurs, choose to open in Halton because of our competitive taxes, first class infrastructure and high quality of life. Whether you’re thinking about opening a business, formulating your business plan, expanding an established small business or looking for youth entrepreneurship programs, the Halton Region Small Business Centre is here to help.

For more information about the Halton Region Small Business Centre please visit www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca or dial 311. You can also follow the Halton Region Small Business Centre on Twitter at @HaltonEcDev, on Facebook and on WordPress.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”