A thriving local economy and strong employment numbers keep Halton a great place to live

The numbers are in and Halton continues to be a highly attractive place to live, work and invest.

The 2017 Economic Review has revealed strong economic growth and shows that businesses continue to see Halton as a premier place to invest. The annual Economic Review analyzes key indicators that point to the overall strength of the local economy and helps to guide future planning decisions. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s Review:

Commercial & industrial space is in demand

  • Local businesses are expanding and new businesses are investing in Halton. Overall building construction and permit value – including commercial, industrial and residential – has set records and reached $3.1 billion in 2017. This tops last year’s record high of $2.1 billion in total permit value.

TotalValue

Residents are highly educated and in demand

  • UnemploymentRateHalton residents are among the most educated in Canada with 75 per cent having attained post-secondary education.
  • Businesses are tapping into our highly trained workforce. Halton reached full employment with a 4 per cent unemployment rate, which is well below the provincial and national averages of 6 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively.

National and international businesses are taking notice

In 2017 Halton collaborated with Toronto Global to submit a bid for Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2). In January this year, we learned that the Toronto Region bid which includes three Halton sites (Milton, Oakville, and Burlington) had been shortlisted by Amazon.

Other national and international businesses have taken notice and have invested or expanded in Halton:

  • Bradford-White Canada opened its 75,000 sq. ft. distribution and training centre last year.
  • Kraft Heinz Company announced a new distribution centre in Halton Hills, bringing more than 150 jobs to the region.
  • Magna’s two automotive parts plants in Milton underwent expansions in 2017.
  • Oakville’s Geotab was named one of the fastest growing telematics technology companies in North America.
  • Finland-based robotics company, Orfer, chose Burlington’s TechPlace as its North American location.

Businesses are confident in Halton as a place to live and work

The annual Business Conditions Survey provides a good perspective on how businesses are doing, their future plans and overall outlook. Results from the 2017 Survey align with the statistics coming out of the 2017 Review – people are investing, living and thriving in Halton:

  • four out of five businesses are optimistic about the future and expect economic conditions to remain stable or improve,
  • 65% of respondents rank Halton’s quality of life and safety as a locational advantage compared to the rest of the GTA,
  • more than half of businesses anticipate increased profits over the next 12 months,
  • one third of businesses planning to expand and hire additional staff in the next 12 months.

To learn more about investment opportunities in Halton, please visit halton.ca/invest. There, you will find the full 2017 Economic Review and Business Conditions Report, receive information on how to connect with one of our business consultants or learn about why Halton is a great place to live, work and 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 helps local businesses go global

On February 28, I had the pleasure of celebrating the official launch of the Halton Global Business Centre (GBC), located at the Halton Regional Centre at 1151 Bronte Rd. in Oakville. Alongside attendees including industry partners, Regional Councillors and Regional staff, we unveiled the center and discussed what the GBC means for local businesses, entrepreneurs and our local economy.

The creation of the GBC means Halton businesses looking for help in exporting have a place to go. Businesses who export also benefit from higher revenues, faster revenue growth and can see an increase in productivity. When businesses are ready to start exporting, the GBC can help them reach new markets, expand their customer base and diversify their products and services. And, our local economy depends on businesses who take advantage of national and international market opportunities.

GlobalBusinessCentre

The new Centre completes the suite of services Halton has to offer businesses to start, scale up and expand. New resources, services and programs include:

  • export counseling;
  • market entry support;
  • access to information on grant opportunities;
  • workshops and seminars;
  • information on government programs; and
  • networking opportunities.

The GBC is only one of the many ways that Halton Region is supporting local businesses and building a strong, local economy. With access to our Small Business Centre and partnerships with other local and provincial experts, Halton is one of the best places to do business. Together, we can ensure Halton Region remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

To get in touch with a consultant, register for an upcoming seminar or workshop, or to learn more about the programs and services available through the GBC, visit halton.ca/goglobal.

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”.

 

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.”