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.”

 

 

Attracting businesses to Halton helps keep our unemployment rates low

Halton Region is an economic hotspot and businesses are choosing to locate here because of our low taxes, with eight consecutive years of a tax freeze; investments in infrastructure, with $289 million committed to roads in the region in 2013, a significant increase from $50 million in 2006; and our high quality of life, with 99% of Halton residents rating the quality of life very high.

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. Also helping to lower our unemployment rate was more than 1,000 jobs coming to Halton thanks to new businesses, such as Toronto Premium Outlets Mall, Gypsum Technologies, Amazon.com, David Roberts Food, UPS Canada and Lowes Canada, opening their doors in Halton.  Another 2,800 jobs were secured with Ford Motor Company announcing its $700 million investment at its Oakville assembly complex.

Join me in Halton’s Small Business Centre as I reflect on the importance of investing in Halton businesses of all sizes so we can keep Halton’s economy strong.

By continuing to plan for today and tomorrow, Halton Region will continue to support its vibrant business community. Learn more about how Halton’s strong economy, infrastructure and high quality of life are keeping Halton a great place to live and work.

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

Helping Technology Business Entrepreneurs Grow

The Halton Region Small Business Centre works to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give them the tools to achieve success. Staff from Halton’s Small Business Centre meet with over 1,300 entrepreneurs every year, helping them start and grow their business here in Halton, through one-on-one consultation, workshops, seminars and a variety of other programs.

Halton’s Regional Innovation Centre, HalTech, complements the services provided by the Small Business Centre.  Founded in August 2011, and part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) network of 14 regional innovation centres, HalTech works in partnership with Halton Region, Local Municipalities and educational institutions.

HalTech aims to connect innovators, technology based businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers with a network of professionals who can help them take concepts from idea to reality.

HalTech’s services include:Haltech graphic

  • advisory services
  • market research
  • access to funding
  • education
  • knowledge & skills development
  • network access.

HalTech acts as a catalyst for innovation and commercialization in the region by delivering services to help Halton enterprises start, grow and succeed. Learn more about by visiting haltech.ca or follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/HalTechRIC. 

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.”

Keeping Halton a great place to live through strong real estate and business investment

Businesses want to be in Halton. Whether it’s a professional office, manufacturing facility or distribution warehouse, Halton offers the right mix of competitive taxes, infrastructure and high quality of life. 

A critical component of our community is supporting and preserving our strong economy, while ensuring businesses keep coming to Halton. Regional Council recently received Halton’s 2013 Economic Review and I was once again impressed with how the Region’s commitment to building a strong economy, along with our strong business community is contributing to a vibrant Region. 

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. Also helping to lower our unemployment rate was more than 1,000 jobs coming to Halton thanks to new businesses, such as Toronto Premium Outlets Mall, Gypsum Technologies, Amazon.com, David Roberts Food, UPS Canada and Lowes Canada, opening their doors in Halton. Another 2,800 jobs were secured with Ford Motor Company announcing its $700 million investment at its Oakville assembly complex. 

With Halton remaining a cost competitive location within the Greater Golden Horseshoe area for new industrial and office development, we can anticipate more businesses coming to the area. Halton is also seeing a confident business outlook, with 91% of Halton businesses surveyed anticipating economic conditions in Halton improving or remaining the same over the next year. 

Halton Region is an economic hotspot and businesses are choosing to locate here because of our low taxes, with eight consecutive years of a tax freeze; investments in infrastructure, with $289 million committed to roads in the region in 2013; and our high quality of life, with 99% of Halton residents rating the quality of life very high. 

By continuing to plan for today and tomorrow, Halton Region will continue to support its vibrant business community. See first-hand how Halton’s strong economy, infrastructure and high quality of life are keeping Halton a great place to live and work.

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 Export Forum features local export success stories

On Thursday, November 14, I joined local businesses at the Halton Export Forum in Oakville. Halton Region partnered with the Canada-Ontario Export Forum to bring this timely event to Halton. The forum provided an opportunity for both new and experienced exporters to hear tips, learn how to increase exports, discover export funding programs and network with government and export service providers.

Panelists Cameron Serles of Xiris Automation Inc. and Debbie Baker of OpenAire Inc. shared their stories and export success tips.  Burlington based Xiris, whose products are sold worldwide through a network of distributors and agents, designs and manufactures specialized equipment using advanced camera technology to recognize and detect quality defects in manufactured goods. Oakville based OpenAire designs, manufactures and installs custom retractable roof enclosures and operable skylights. The company’s enclosures are found in venues around the world including Egypt, Germany, Ukraine and the U.S. DSC_0909

These are just two examples of many Halton export success stories. We are well positioned to tackle markets outside our borders. Halton’s diversified economic base powers the innovation we need to grow and expand our market reach.  Halton truly is an economic hotspot. Our latest employment survey indicated that we now have over 1,000 exporting companies in our region. This includes large exporters such as Ford of Canada, Magna and Roxul Inc., and smaller companies such as L3 WESCAM, whose advanced laser imaging systems are in use around the world. And not only is there potential for our manufacturing firms, but also for our growing and successful service base, which includes Hatch, AMEC and Siemens.

Attracting and retaining jobs is a priority in Halton Region’s Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.  Our efforts to assist businesses to establish or expand operations and find new markets through initiatives such as this Forum are paying off.  I invite you to learn more about exporting and how the Halton Region Small Business Centre can help you grow your business.

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.”

Halton’s 4th annual Real Estate Forum reinforces that Halton is an economic hotspot

Last year, 2012, was a record setting year for industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) development in Halton, with ICI development surpassing over $1.2 billion in building permit value. 

On Tuesday, October 29, I joined industrial and commercial developers and real estate brokers from the Greater Toronto Area, along with my colleagues from Regional Council and Halton’s Local Municipalities at the Halton Real Estate Forum, held in Burlington.

The event was a terrific opportunity for businesses to network.  Attendees also had the chance to learn about economic and real estate performance, trends, development cost competitiveness in Halton and the surrounding area, and hear from business panelists their reasons for choosing Halton.

Halton has been named the safest regional municipality in Canada for the past five years. We have an AAA credit rating, location and quality of life that is second to none, and incredible talent living within our borders. Judging by our growing ICI development numbers and recent investments by companies such as Target, Siemens, Toronto Premium Outlets and Gypsum Technologies Inc., it is clear that Halton continues to be an economic hotspot.

A key message voiced by the speakers at the Forum was that with our ecosystem of leading companies and exceptional quality of life, Halton is indeed a location of choice – one of the best communities in which to live and work.

Halton’s Director, Economic Development, John Davidson provided an overview of trends in the commercial and industrial real estate market in Halton.  His presentation included a short video testimonial from Sanjay Singhal, Co-founder & CEO of Audiobooks.com.

All of the speakers alluded to Halton’s attractive business environment, access to skilled workers, customers and suppliers, the entrepreneurial eco-system, excellent infrastructure, location, facilities for innovation and startups, such as HalTech, and proximity to post secondary institutions.

You can review the presentations, including mine and the address by keynote speaker Josh Kaufman, Vice President, Retail and Commercial Development, Dundee Realty Corporation, at www.halton.ca/ref2013.

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.”