De­ter­min­ing city’s busi­ness ad­van­tages

The Daily Observer - - NEWS - STEPHEN UHLER SUh­ler@post­media.com

Pem­broke has se­cured $5,500 in fund­ing to help it con­duct a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages study.

The study will com­pare the city to other sim­i­lar-sized com­mu­ni­ties and help de­ter­mine the ad­van­tages it has over the oth­ers.

Heather Salo­vaara, the city’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer, told the plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee, the last time this type of study was done was in 2003, so the city was over­due for a fol­low up one.

“A com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage study is done by an out­side firm and ex­am­ines the ad­van­tages that Pem­broke has as a place to do busi­ness,” she said. “The study will com­pare Pem­broke to sim­i­lar sized mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties on a va­ri­ety of fac­tors and iden­tify com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages, and will also iden­tify in­dus­tries that may work in Pem­broke based on the city’s com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages.”

Salo­vaara said a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages study looks at such things as labour costs, util­i­ties, land cost, taxes, ameni­ties, de­mo­graph­ics, and many more fac­tors. It will add cred­i­bil­ity to any mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als that iden­tify th­ese ad­van­tages, and it will help to iden­tify in­dus­tries that the city may want to tar­get to lo­cate in Pem­broke.

As for the source of the grant money, she said in early 2017, the com­mit­tee heard about the rein­tro­duc­tion of the Ru­ral Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment (RED) Grant through the On­tario Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Food and Ru­ral Af­fairs (OMAFRA). The eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment depart­ment ap­plied for fund­ing to com­plete a com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages study as it is deemed a pri­or­ity in the City of Pem­broke’s 2016-2018 Strate­gic Plan.

“The City of Pem­broke was suc­cess­ful in re­ceiv­ing Ru­ral Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment fund­ing in the amount of $5,500 to as­sist in the com­ple­tion of the study,” Salo­vaara said.

She said the bud­get for the com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages study is $11,000, $5,500 of this will be cov­ered by this Ru­ral Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment grant. The re­main­ing $5,500 will come from al­ready bud­geted funds in the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment depart­ment.

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