Halton’s 2019 Budget supports services and infrastructure

linkedin_budgetbusinessplanOn January 16, Regional Council approved Halton’s 2019 Budget and Business Plan, which ensures top value for taxpayer dollars as we prepare our strategic plan for this term of Council.

The Budget is based on prudent, forward-looking financial planning principles that help preserve Halton’s strong long-term financial position. It also leverages our top credit rating, which helps us finance major investments by providing continued access to the best capital financing rates available.

By identifying savings and reorganizing resources, the 2019 Budget increases Regional investment in priority areas identified by residents and Council. Some of these increases include:

  • Water and Wastewater State-of-Good-Repair Capital Program: $7.7 million increase in funding to support the water and wastewater state-of-good repair capital program.
  • Transportation State-of-Good-Repair Capital Program: $1.9 million increase in funding to support Regional roads.
  • Paramedic Services: $827,000 to provide additional resources to address call volume pressures.
  • Waste management: $791,000 for waste management contracts due to inflation, tonnage growth and organics market pressures.
  • Road maintenance: $677,000 increase in road maintenance contracts to address growth in the Regional road network.
  • Red Light Cameras: $100,000 for three new red light cameras in 2019, bring the total number of cameras to 20.
  • Relief staff resources: $431,000 for additional relief resources to maintain service levels in Paramedic Services and Services for Seniors.
  • Regional Facilities State-of-Good-Repair Capital Program: $380,000 to maintain Regional facilities.
  • Halton Region Community Investment Fund: $300,000 strategic investment to increase funding for programs that support the health, safety and well-being of Halton residents.
  • Emerald Ash Borer: $272,000 to support program implementation by Conservation Halton and Credit Valley Conservation.

The Budget also fulfills Council’s objective to keep property taxes low—it includes a 1.9 per cent increase for Regional services and a 3.7 per cent rate increase for water and wastewater services. It continues our 12-year track record of keeping property tax increases at or below the rate of inflation to help individuals, families and businesses succeed in Halton.

By supporting services and infrastructure to maintain a high quality of life, the 2019 Budget and Business Plan will help us keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire. To learn more, please visit halton.ca.

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”.

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.”

Helping local youth launch their own Summer Company

Every year, Halton Region offers support to students between the ages of 15 and 29 that want to start and run their own business through the Summer Company program. Summer Company is an Ontario Government initiative for youth entrepreneurship and employment that is coordinated locally through the Halton Region Small Business Centre. Successful program applicants receive hands-on business training and mentoring, and can receive up to $3000 in funding to help start and run their own summer business. 

Entrepreneurship plays a critical role in innovation, job creation and economic growth. Summer Company sets young entrepreneurs up to succeed through business coaching and ongoing mentoring. Halton is proud to offer local students support through this program as it provides young entrepreneurs with a tremendous opportunity to bring their business ideas to life.

The deadline for submissions is next Friday, May 23, 2014. Summer Company is a competitive program with limited spaces and students are encouraged to complete their application as early as possible. For a complete list of program requirements or to apply online, visit the Summer Company website at www.ontario.ca/summercompany

If you have any questions about the application process or require assistance in completing the application, including preparing a business plan, 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.”