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.”

Q2 Accomplishments 2014

Fiscal Responsibility

Tax Policy Report approved
On April 16, Regional Council approved Halton Region’s Tax Policy Report which details the Region’s final 2014 tax rates based on the 2014 Budget and Business Plan, approved by Halton Regional Council on December 11, 2013.

Public Engagement 

Citizens’ Report 2013 released
On April 2, Halton Region released the Citizens’ Report 2013 which highlights accomplishments related to key actions and initiatives in the Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.

Customer Service

Region marks 40 year anniversary
The County of Halton was dissolved and the Regional Municipality of Halton was established on January 1, 1974. Halton Region marked the anniversary and celebrated 40 years of customer service excellence with the launch of a new Twitter account, @RegionofHalton. Additionally, to recognize the contributions of Halton’s namesake, Major William Halton, to the development of the Region and the province, the new North Oakville Transportation Corridor between Bronte Road (Regional Road 25) and Ninth Line, will be named William Halton Parkway. Construction on the new corridor will begin this year. 

Be an Employer of Choice

Halton Region appointed two new commissioners
On April 16, Regional Council approved the appointment of two new commissioners to fill positions recently vacated following the retirements of the Region’s Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner of Public Works.

James A. Harnum was appointed as Commissioner of Public Works, effective Tuesday, May 20, 2014 and Dr. Hamidah K. Meghani was appointed as Commissioner and Medical Officer of Health, effective Monday, July 14, 2014. 

Advocacy

Pre-election advocacy campaign informed voters
In advance of the June provincial election, Halton Region prepared a questionnaire for the candidates from the ridings of Burlington, Halton, Oakville and Wellington-Halton Hills. The questionnaire provided candidates with an opportunity to explain to voters how they would advocate for Halton and how their party would resolve the challenges facing Halton Region. Responses were posted at Halton.ca/OntarioElection2014.

Economic Development

Halton Region endorsed Sheridan College’s plan to become a university
In June, Halton Regional Council voted in favour of Sheridan College’s plan to expand postsecondary education options. Halton Region endorsed Sheridan’s plan to pursue university status because it will improve access to local postsecondary education, ensure a strong labour force to meet the needs of local employers and attract talent to Halton.

Starter Company announced
Halton Region announced the launch of a new program called Starter Company, perfect for those aged 18 to 29 who have always wanted to be entrepreneurs. The program is offered by Halton Region in partnership with the Ontario Government and provides training, mentorship, business skills development and grants of up to $5,000 to help eligible individuals start a new business, expand a business or purchase a business.

Physician Recruitment Week a success
Every year, Halton Region and local hospitals celebrate the efforts of Halton’s physicians and recognize their contributions to our community with Physician Appreciation Week, which took place this year from April 28 to May 2. Now in its 11th year, Physician Appreciation Week in Halton was originally established in 2003 by the Halton Physician Recruitment program. Attracting new physicians to establish medical practices in Halton continues to be a priority in Halton’s Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan. Halton Region’s Physician Recruitment program has helped bring more than 200 new family doctors to Halton since 2003.

Waste Management

Winter Ice Storm Yard Waste Collection Program
Halton Region implemented a special bulk brush collection service in designated service areas from March 31 to May 30, followed by a call-in service throughout June for roadside brush collection in non-serviced areas in response to the December 2013 major winter ice storm. The Region worked closely with the Local Municipalities to ensure that storm debris was collected in an effective and efficient manner. In addition, the Region continued to waive the tipping fee for yard waste at the Halton Waste Management Site to the end of June so that Halton residents and contractors could drop off brush debris or chipped materials at no charge.

Special Waste Drop-off Days held in Burlington, Halton Hills and Oakville
Halton Region held Special Waste Drop-off Days this spring in Burlington, Halton Hills and Oakville. Approximately 2,800 residents attended the events designed to provide Halton residents with a convenient opportunity to safely recycle and dispose of items like electronics and household hazardous waste, which should not be placed in the garbage.

Spring Compost Giveaway
In May, approximately 3,500 residents attended Halton’s annual Spring Compost Giveaway at the Halton Waste Management Site. During the event, residents picked up processed compost to use in their garden and landscaping projects. Halton residents also generously donated 4,340 kg of non-perishable food items and contributed $7,720 for local Halton food banks. 

Scout tree planting event
In May, Halton Region partnered with Conservation Halton and Halton Area Scouts to host the annual Trees for Watershed Health planting event at the Halton Waste Management Site.  The event was a big success with over 300 volunteers planting 3,000 trees at the site. 

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Rain barrel sales events
Halton Region held its sixth annual rain barrel truckload sales events as part of Halton’s Water Efficiency and Conservation Program. Approximately 2,225 rain barrels were sold over the four events. The use of rain barrels helps to reduce outdoor water use.

Outdoor Water Use Program launched
Halton Region launched the annual Outdoor Water Use Program in June. The program is designed to help reduce peak demand associated with summer water use when water consumption often doubles. 

Infrastructure

Well upgrades completed

  • The Region completed a comprehensive upgrade of the Fourth Line Well Field in Acton to ensure that wells continue to meet all provincial water quality standards and to provide water for future growth within Acton.  
  • Upgrades were completed at the Lindsay Court Well Field to include a standby well and to ensure that the wells continue to meet all provincial water quality standards.  The upgrades will ensure that Georgetown’s water supply remains reliable and safe for the long term.  

Planning Sustainable Communities 

Completion of the Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 38 Guidelines
In June, Halton’s Inter-Municipal Liaison Committee endorsed the Regional Official Plan Guidelines. The 17 guidelines, developed through an extensive public consultation process, will assist municipalities and the public with policy implementation of the Region’s Official Plan. 

Annual update on employment activity in Halton
Council received the 2013 Employment Survey Results report in June. The report highlights key findings on employment activity and land use patterns resulting from the 2013 comprehensive door-to-door survey of businesses in Halton Region. 

Annual update on housing trends in Halton
Council received the Halton Region – 2013 State of Housing Report. The report provides an update on housing trends to assist in monitoring the success of the Region’s housing and growth management policies. The report highlights that the Region’s Official Plan targets related to density and affordability for new housing units in Halton were both exceeded in 2013. 

Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage 

75th Anniversary of Halton Regional Forests:  A Biodiversity Strategy and Property Acquisition
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Halton Regional Forests.  To commemorate this event, on June 18, Regional Council approved a Biodiversity Strategy for the Regional Forests, as well as the purchase of a 37 hectare property. This is the first expansion to the Regional Forest in nearly 50 years.  Biodiversity is key to maintaining the function and integrity of the Regional Natural Heritage System. The Biodiversity Strategy will guide conservation and enhancement of the Halton Regional Forests over the next 10 years. 

Halton Region Museum Master Plan
On June 18, 2014, Regional Council approved the Halton Region Museum Master Plan which details a long-term plan and vision to transform the Halton Region Museum into the Halton Heritage Centre (HHC). The Master Plan outlines a new and innovative model for the delivery of regional heritage services in which the Museum will not only continue to care for the Region’s own collection but will provide professional services in exhibit planning and design, public program development and artifact conservation. The details and strategy for implementing the Halton Heritage Centre will be determined during the Region’s next term of Council.

New exhibit launched at the Halton Region Museum
A new exhibit, Flights of Folly: Learning from the Passenger Pigeon, was launched at the Halton Region Museum Visitor Centre on June 11, 2014. Flights of Folly acknowledges the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon by offering an interactive and educational experience that explores issues surrounding extinction and de-extinction and present-day species at risk. 

Corporate Sustainability 

Corporate Sustainability Action Plan on track
Implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Action Plan is on track, as reduction of the Region’s ecological footprint for internal operations continues. Recent accomplishments include the Region receiving the E3 Bronze Fleet Rating, recognition as the Smart Commute Halton Employer of the Year and recognition from Oakville Hydro Corporation for completed energy retrofit projects. 

Promoting Healthy Living 

Health Department hosts successful Workplace Health Networking Meeting
On June 17, the Health Department hosted a Workplace Health Networking Meeting entitled “How Much Are You Sitting? Move More at Work, Sit Less!” Over 60 workplace representatives heard keynote speaker Dr. Travis Saunders discuss “Is Sitting Killing Us?” He shared the latest research evidence and effective approaches workplaces can implement to encourage physical activity at work.   

April 8 Smoking Cessation Best Practice Workshop
On April 8, the Health Department participated in the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario’s Nursing Best Practice Smoking Cessation Initiative by hosting a Smoking Cessation Best Practice Champion Workshop. Forty-eight health care professionals learned simple intervention techniques to dramatically reduce rates of smoking, in addition to connecting with Canada-wide champions and learning about best practice tools and resources. 

Family Health Information Line receives 99 per cent satisfaction rating
A recent evaluation of the Family Health Information Line showed a 99 per cent satisfaction rating from Halton residents who access the line to connect directly with a public health nurse for information and resources.  

Air Quality 

Halton Region climate change picture books recognized with three awards
In June, Health Department staff were recognized with three awards for the ‘Owls for Climate Change’ children’s picture book series, including a 2014 Gold Quill Award of Excellence (from the International Association of Business Communicators – IABC), a 2014 Conservation Halton Award, and a 2014 Apex Award for Publication Excellence. To view or purchase the books, visit: www.halton.ca/owlbooks.   

Children and Youth Development 

Promoting safety with two community car seat safety spot checks
As part of Halton Region’s commitment to community safety, Regional staff, Halton Regional Police Services, Milton and Halton Hills Fire Departments and Cooperators Insurance jointly supported two car seat safety spot check clinics in Acton (April) and Burlington (May). In total, 266 seats were seen at the quick check with 117 requiring a full inspection due to installation errors. 

Over 100 trained in effective youth engagement
Aligned with a release of a new guideline for working with youth by the Our Kids Network, Health Department staff delivered training related to how to engage youth in health and social services to over 100 staff and community partners. 

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 moving by investing in infrastructure

To meet the needs of a growing population, Halton Region has continued to deliver a roads capital improvement program which invests, on average, more than $120 million every year towards ongoing or new construction projects. In 2013, Halton committed $289 million to Regional roads, an increase from $50 million in 2006. Not only is investing in infrastructure important to our residents, it also attracts businesses to our region which helps keep our economy strong.

Join me at Halton’s first Regional, dual-lane roundabout on Tremaine Road in Milton as I discuss the importance of investing in our transportation infrastructure.

By continuing to plan for today and tomorrow, Halton Region will make sure our transportation infrastructure meets the needs of our community, while protecting the environment, today and in the future. I’m proud that our investment is helping keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family 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.”

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.”

Q1 Accomplishments 2014

Fiscal Responsibility

Moody’s Investors Services Reaffirms AAA Credit Rating for Halton Region
In February, Moody’s Investors Services assigned an AAA credit rating to Halton Region in recognition of the Region’s strong financial position and prudent budgetary practices. In its annual review, Moody’s attached a “stable outlook” to this rating, indicating its confidence in Halton’s ability to maintain this standing in the future.

Attracting & Retaining Jobs

Women Entrepreneurs in Halton Invited to ‘Learn, Connect and Grow’
On March 5, in celebration of International Women’s Day, the Halton Region Small Business Centre partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment to host a business event for over 60 Women Entrepreneurs and small business owners at the OE Banquet Hall & Conference Centre in Oakville.  

Economic Development Strategy on Track
On March 26, Regional Council approved the Progress Achieved under Halton Region’s Economic Development Strategic Implementation Plan 2012-2021as well as the 2013 Economic Review. The review highlights both the significant real estate and business investment in Halton in 2013 and the tremendous growth in non-residential development over the past several years.

Physician Recruitment Initiative 2013 Reports Year-End Results
On March 26 Regional Council approved the 2013 year-end report for the Physician Recruitment Initiative which saw the recruitment of 22 new family physicians to Halton.

Promoting Tourism

Halton Food Tourism Summit
On March 6, Halton Region held the Halton Food Tourism Summit at the Halton Region Museum. This session, part of the Region’s Agritourism Action Plan, provided educational and networking opportunities for local farmers and restaurateurs interested in taking advantage of the rapidly growing local food movement. Topics included Food Tourism 101, Food Tourism Best Practices and Strategies for local food sourcing.

Emergency Preparedness

Station Expansion
On March 11, construction started on the new northwest Oakville paramedic station located at Bronte Rd. and Pine Glen Rd. The new station will help paramedics respond to calls in the area more quickly, improving patient outcomes and saving lives. The new station is scheduled to open in early 2015. 

Customer Service 

SQM North American Call Centre Industry 2013 Award
This past January, Service Quality Measurement Group (SQM) recognized Access Halton as a Service Quality Award of Excellence Winner for 2013. Halton Region received the SQM North American Call Centre Industry 2013 Award for highest customer service in government. This award is based on first call resolution (FCR), the measure of how many calls are required to resolve an issue, answer a question or get a requested service. Halton Region measures call centre customer satisfaction annually. 

Accessibility Update
During the first quarter, Halton Region continued to remove barriers to people with disabilities and meet provincial accessibility standards. Halton worked with the Local Municipalities to arrange joint training for Regional and Local Municipal staff on new accessible built environment standards and accessibility changes in the Ontario Building Code. The Accessibility at Halton Region booklet was completed to supplement the accessibility training module launched in 2013. 

Advocacy

Advocating for a Strong Halton
On March 26, Regional Council approved recommendations provided through the report “Advocating for a Strong Halton Update”, to support Council in their ongoing advocacy work. Halton Region continues to Advocate for a Strong Haltonon issues that are important to Halton residents. The support of both levels of government in the form of long-term predictable funding is essential to maintaining the quality of life in Halton. 

Infrastructure

2014 Civil Engineering Infrastructure Project of the Year Award
This spring, Halton Region received the 2014 Civil Engineering Infrastructure Project of the Year Award, presented by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (Halton-Hamilton Engineering Week). The award was presented for outstanding work on the Halton Zone 3 Interconnecting Watermain project (Burlington and Oakville). 

2014 Project of the Year Award
On March 1, Halton Region received the 2014 Project of the Year Award in the Civil Large Project Category for the North Oakville East Wastewater Pumping Station. The award was presented by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers at the Hamilton/Halton Engineering Awards Ceremony.

Planning Sustainable Communities

Partial Approval of Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 38
On February 4, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) issued a decision partially approving ROPA 38 to bring it into conformity with the provincial Growth Plan. 

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Drinking Water Quality Management Review Completed

This spring, the 2013 Drinking Water Quality Management Review was completed for Halton’s water systems. This review reconfirmed that the Region’s water systems are well managed to ensure safe drinking water services for all residents.

100% Compliance Rating for Halton’s Drinking Water Systems
Eleven annual Ministry of the Environment inspections were completed for Halton’s drinking water systems for the 2013 cycle. The findings revealed zero instances of regulatory non-compliance and 100% compliance rating for each of the 11 inspections.

Waste Management

Winter Ice Storm Emergency Yard Waste Collection Program
From January 1 to February 7, Halton Region implemented an emergency yard waste collection program in response to the December 2013 major winter ice storm. The Region worked closely with the Local Municipalities to ensure that storm debris was collected in an effective and efficient manner. 

The Region deployed a variety of resources to manage the storm generated yard waste, including retaining contractors to provide forestry-type equipment to chip and shred brush at the curb, adding waste collection vehicles to manually collect brush from the curbs and boulevards, assisting the Local Municipalities to set up temporary transfer sites where residents and contractors could drop off brush materials at no charge, and waiving the tipping fee for yard waste at the Halton Waste Management Site so that Halton residents and contractors could drop off brush debris or chipped materials at no charge. 

Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage 

Halton Museum Foundation Celebrated Black History with Two One-Woman Shows
On March 5 and 6, over 1,300 Halton students attended the Halton Region Museum’s presentation of the Spirit of Harriet Tubman and Things my Fore-Sisters Saw. The shows were held in celebration of Black History month and International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

Children and Youth Development 

New Online Oral Health Education Guides (OHEG) Available to Teachers
In February, a new online oral health teaching tool for educators was launched. Developed in collaboration with consultants from both Halton school boards, the Oral Health Education Guides connect oral health education directly to the Ontario Curriculum. 

New Support to Children with Mental Health Concerns
As of this spring, Mental Health Liaison Nurses are providing early identification and support to children with mental health concerns from kindergarten age to grade eight. Families can access this service through their child’s school or by calling 311.

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.”

 

Celebrating Halton Region’s local business community

On August 7, I had the pleasure of joining with Oakville Regional Councillor Alan Johnston and Milton Regional Councillor Colin Best in attending the Annual Joint Chambers of Commerce Business After 5 networking event at the Halton Regional Centre in Oakville. Organized by Halton Region’s four Chambers of Commerce together with Halton Region’s Small Business Centre, the event brings together chamber members and guests for networking with members of other Halton Chambers of Commerce.114

This well attended networking event is combined with a Business Showcase that serves as a mini-tradeshow.  Local companies, including some former Small Business Centre clients and this year’s Summer Company participants, have the opportunity to showcase their products and services and share stories with other members of the small business community.

There is always an incredible buzz in the room and a genuine feeling of goodwill.  It is one of my favourite networking events.  Where else could you chat with the heads of all four Chambers of Commerce, have a free caricature drawn while you wait, sample roasted chickpeas, and consult with a business coach for 5 cents?

I am incredibly proud of Halton Region’s local business community.  It is thriving and diverse, thanks to the efforts of the Chambers, our Local and Regional Councils and the individuals who work so hard each day to bring their new ideas to market.145

More and more small business are opening here in Halton, joining larger businesses such as Siemens, Toronto Premium Outlets, Lowes Canada and Gyptech Technologies. They are locating here because of our quality of life, our solid infrastructure and because of the very talented people who live and work in this community.

American industrialist Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Meetings such as the annual Chamber event help ensure we continue to come together, stay together and enjoy success together.175

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.”