Economic Development & Tourism Community Report November 2013

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We are often called on to play tour guide to visitors
and investors, and part of the tour always includes main
street. A downtown is the heart of any community and
if the downtown is strong and growing, it is a good
indicator of the community’s economic health.

The reaction from these fi rst-time guests is the same
– what a wonderful downtown! They comment on the
streetscape, the facades, the variety of businesses, the
store displays and always the fl owers. Compared to
other downtowns, Owen Sound is looking healthy and
vibrant. Of course we have some empty stores and
want to see more businesses, but overall the downtown
is viewed by out-of-town visitors as a positive and
welcoming place.

It’s going to get even better, with new investment in
downtown housing starting to ramp up. Corbet Place on
the west harbour is nearly completed. The Sydenham
condo project has purchased the Todd’s building from
the City. And a site plan has been approved for new
condos called the Professional Suites on the top fl oors of
the Professional Building.

All of these projects represent signifi cant new investment
in the downtown. Combined, they will bring close to 90
new housing units to downtown Owen Sound, resulting
in 150 to 180 more people living there. These will be
people who want to fully experience the downtown, to walk to the Roxy, the galleries and the library, to
the coffee shops, the book stores, the restaurants, the
harbour and the river views.

This new investment will support existing businesses
and attract new ones. It will make downtown
even more appealing to visitors and investors. It
is why the Economic Development and Tourism
Department (including the Small Business Enterprise
Centre) is assisting these developers in marketing
their properties, and Owen Sound as a whole. It’s
where we – and others – want to live and prosper.

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Economic Development & Tourism Community Report November 2013

  1. 1. COMMUNITY REPORT November 2013 Contact The Business Enterprise Centre, Owen Sound & Area for any assistance and with any questions. 519-371-3232 •173 8th Street East, Owen Sound www.owensoundbusiness.ca • businesshelp@owensound.ca Celebrating Business Success ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & TOURISM The 10th Annual Bridges to Better Business Conference held in October illustrated that the ebb and flow of business development in our community is alive and well. Over 65 clients and associates of The Business Enterprise Centre, Owen Sound and Area, gathered to learn about Lean Practises and Branding for Success. The panel of entrepreneurs, Tara MacKenzie, Jeffrey Robins and Keith Robinson spoke of their challenges and gave invaluable advice. The hum of discussion, people connecting and creating opportunities showed once again that success starts with knowledge and the successful businesses are those who truly believe in continuous learning. Summer Company 2013 Anja Pink’s business, Leaping Beaver Beverages Seven new local student entrepreneurs spent their summer learning about business while doing what they love. Under the guidance and mentorship of the Business Enterprise Centre, Summer Company 2013 supported and mentored these self- starters with up to $1,500 in start-up cash to cover their expenses. Their summer businesses ranged from squeezing lemons for lemonade to welding fine art pieces, from woodworking to landscaping. When they returned back to school, they were rewarded with another $1,500. This Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment program continues to encourage youth entrepreneurship as an exciting journey into experiencing self employment first-hand. If you know someone 15 to 29 who is returning to school next year, watch for applications to open on-line at www.summercompany.on.ca or call us for further information. Unemployed? Start your Own Business! The Ontario Self Employment Benefit Program provides income and support to eligible persons starting their own business, and our Business Enterprise Centre co-ordinates the program in Grey and Bruce counties. Find out more about this supportive mentoring program! The next intake is January so contact us today to learn how to begin to create your own job, doing what you love. COMMUNITY REPORT November 2013 Downtown Owen Sound - Where you want to live! We are often called on to play tour guide to visitors and investors, and part of the tour always includes main street. A downtown is the heart of any community and if the downtown is strong and growing, it is a good indicator of the community’s economic health. The reaction from these first-time guests is the same – what a wonderful downtown! They comment on the streetscape, the facades, the variety of businesses, the store displays and always the flowers. Compared to other downtowns, Owen Sound is looking healthy and vibrant. Of course we have some empty stores and want to see more businesses, but overall the downtown is viewed by out-of-town visitors as a positive and welcoming place. to walk to the Roxy, the galleries and the library, to the coffee shops, the book stores, the restaurants, the harbour and the river views. This new investment will support existing businesses and attract new ones. It will make downtown even more appealing to visitors and investors. It is why the Economic Development and Tourism Department (including the Small Business Enterprise Centre) is assisting these developers in marketing their properties, and Owen Sound as a whole. It’s where we – and others – want to live and prosper. It’s going to get even better, with new investment in downtown housing starting to ramp up. Corbet Place on the west harbour is nearly completed. The Sydenham condo project has purchased the Todd’s building from the City. And a site plan has been approved for new condos called The Centre Suites3rd the top floors of The CentreSuites on on Avenue with conProfessional Centre. struction starting in 2013! All of these projects represent significant new investment in the downtown. Combined, they will bring close to 90 new housing units to downtown Owen Sound, resulting in 150 to 180 more people living there. These will be people who want to fully experience the downtown, The Sydenham at Owen Sound Economic Development & Tourism Department Economic Development & Tourism Department www.owensound.ca • www.owensoundtourism.ca www.owensoundbusiness.ca www.owensound.ca • www.owensoundtourism.ca www.owensoundbusiness.ca Connect with us ... Connect with us ...
  2. 2. COMMUNITY REPORT November 2013 TOURISM 1,511 1155 First Ave W, Owen Sound • 519-371-9833 www.owensoundtourism.ca vacation@owensound.ca COMMUNITY REPORT Salmon Tour Draws New Crowds The Owen Sound Salmon Tour – a new tourism product for the area – was launched in late August along with a new web site, www.greatsalmontour.ca, a YouTube video (“Owen Sound Salmon Tour”), a new brochure and on-line promotional campaign. Tourism Social Media The Salmon Tour is a 7-kilometre route following the salmon migration from the harbour to Inglis Falls, with stops along the e way on the Sydenham River. It’s a self-guided tour that you u can hike, cycle, drive or even paddle. The tour is a partnership p between Owen Sound Tourism and BruceGreySimcoe.com m (RTO7). We now have over 1,500 fans on Facebook, and have reached 1,028 followers on Twitter. To keep up to date with us on social media, follow us at: www.facebook.com/OwenSoundTourismandEvents www.twitter.com/OSTourism www.youtube.com/OwenSoundTourism Visitors Using Tourism Services The tourism office has served close to 8,000 walk-in customers this year. More than 20 per cent were from outside Ontario, another 22 per cent were from the Toronto area and 20 per cent were from outside Grey and Bruce counties (see chart). What is drawing them to the Visitor Information Centre? We polled 100 customers this summer to find out. Most were “just passing through” the city or staying for 1-3 hours and came to the Visitor Centre “to hear about Owen Sound from a tourism expert” and get information about attractions and events. What brought them to Owen Sound? About a third were “just curious.” More than two-thirds were interested in our waterfalls, attractions and the harbour. When asked to comment on their experience at the Visitor Centre, they lauded tourism staff for being knowledgeable, friendly, and enhancing their visit. Our on-line campaign for the salmon tour reached close e to 30,000 people and the video garnered over 400 views. s. Tourism partners such as Grey Sauble Conservation and the Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association n noted a marked increase in visitation to the mill dam and fish ladder, Inglis Falls and other sites to o watch the salmon run. New Historic Walking Tour, Winter Guide The Tourism office published two new guides in October – an updated Historic Walking Tour with four routes covering close to 80 historic properties in Owen Sound, and a Winter Guide for 2013-2014 detailing a full list of winter events, exhibits and activities in town. The walking tour brochure was a joint venture with the City’s Community Services department and the Winter Guide was produced with the Festival of Northern Lights. Both publications were printed locally. The Winter Guide’s 60,000 copies will be distributed by the Tourism office and through insertions in Sun Times newspapers. Summer Events Owen Sound celebrated a record number of special events that attracted out-of-town visitors this summer, and Tourism staff were there to greet them at the Hottest Yard Sale Under the Sun, the Emancipation Festival, Tall Ships, the Salmon Spectacular fishing derby, Cobble Beach’s Concours D’Elegance and the TOM’s Canadian Spirit festival. Tall Ships brought more than 10,000 people to the city’s waterfront and over 1,000 into the Visitor Centre and our Tourism booth at the site. Other special events last summer included Ribfest, the Mudtown Music & Arts Festival, the Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival, and Streets Alive Buskerfest. “Really friendly and informative. Best decision to stop and ask for help.” The Tourism office appears to be on track in its goal of extending visitation and encouraging repeat visits among people “just passing through,” thereby increasing visitor spending in Owen Sound. The longer people stay, the more likely they are to enjoy a meal, shop, and consider relocating. It appears our online services and printed collateral complement but do not replace the personalized customer service offered at the Visitor Centre. Economic Development & Tourism Department Economic Development & Tourism Department www.owensound.ca • www.owensoundtourism.ca www.owensoundbusiness.ca www.owensound.ca • www.owensoundtourism.ca www.owensoundbusiness.ca Connect with us ... Connect with us ...

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