Helping Businesses Grow and Succeed


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SmartBusiness, our business retention and expansion initiative, is the backbone of the Partnership and the pulse of Greater Halifax’s business community.

We developed SmartBusiness to help small, medium and large businesses from all over Greater Halifax and to ensure they succeed and prosper in our city.

This presentation was given at the BREI Annual Conference 2010 in New Orleans, Lousiana.

Published in: Business, Health & Medicine
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  •  Who are they?
  •  Who are they?
  • What’s a referral look like? They generally fall into two categories: company specific, which is just like it soundsAn issue only related to that company’s specific circumstancesAnd company common – really, systemic issues that are being faced by MANY organizations.How many referrals? Since 2004, over 1,100 referralsGenerated Referrals: 1,113     Successfully Closed Referrals: 661     Time Spent (in hours): 1,352     Projected Value of Service: $63,103,553   $50,000 SR&ED claim through BDC for VOIP  $60,000,000 Manulife retention effort of Maritime Life Head Office$1,000,000 NSCC Aviation InstituteEstimated Total Cost Savings: $60,145,300  - $60,000,000 W.M . Fares Development issue resolved-Dept of Environment    - $15,000 Voucher Program Pilot project sponsored by OED for VOIP Estimated Total Increase in Revenues: $53,815,150  - $50,000,000 Scanwood zoning issue for expansion resolved 
  • And these are the company common or systemic issues. Many relate to labour and workforce development issues. Some relate to development times and provincial regulations. Have resulted in the Partnership carrying the voice of business And raising issues at the tableOr bringing people together Through our involvement in HRMbyDesign or the Province’s Better Regulations initiativeOr working on creating customized training for drywallers with NSCC as a result of the shortage of these skilled labourers being felt by many companies…
  • And results… This past year we’ve exceeded our target of attracting and retaining 1,800 jobs. 1,907SmartBusiness created 1086IMP 100 Irving Shipyard 550SmartBusiness retained 426Pratt & Whitney 425Investment Attraction 495Over 5000 since 2004
  • Helping Businesses Grow and Succeed

    1. 1. Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) Robyn Webb Greater Halifax Partnership August 2010
    2. 2. OUTLINEWhat… is Smartbusiness? Why….Do Smartbusiness? Who…Should Be Involved? Where…Do you Start? How…Do You operate, resource, report, benchmark, adjust & measure success?
    3. 3. GREATER HALIFAX PARTNERSHIP• Catalyst for economic growth and confidence• Provide deep insight into emerging trends and changing needs• Mobilize resources to accelerate economic growth• Public/Private partnership  130 private sector investors  3 levels of government: – Federal – Provincial – Municipal
    4. 4. What… is Smartbusiness?
    5. 5. SMARTBUSINESSWHAT?• The Greater Halifax Partnership’s business retention and expansion initiativeWHY?• To work with employers to overcome challenges and seize opportunities while establishing the most competitive business climate in Canada.HOW?• Account Executives go face to face with CEOs and Local Managers.• Real-time problem solving• Constant business climate improvement
    6. 6. SMARTBUSINESS (cont..) • Designed to strengthen our ability to: • keep, • grow, and • attract businesses in Halifax • SmartBusiness is the way we discover challenges and opportunities to grow • Customized diagnostic tool • Executive Pulse database is a highly effective tool for economic development
    7. 7. Why….Do Smartbusiness?
    8. 8. 10 REASONS TO DO SMARTBUSINESS10. Mutual awareness, business and government9. Identify concerns and opportunities8. Refine policies to improve the business climate7. Prevent overlap and duplication6. Cost-effective business development
    9. 9. 5. Increase incomes, employment, and opportunity4. Identify potential changes in structures :mergers, acquisition, consolidations, restructuring, relocations3. Up to 80% of new jobs come from existing companies2. Show business they are important1. Other places are doing Business Retention & Expansion!
    10. 10. Who…Should Be Involved?
    11. 11. WHO SHOULD BE INVOLVED?Criteria for Involvement:• Who can solve problems• Who is causing problems• Who cares about the problemsArea that include:• Expanding a business • Government• Exporting • Immigration• Financial Assistance • Municipal assistance• Networking groups • Product or technology• Recruitment and Retention • Workforce Development
    12. 12. COLLABORATIVE APPROACH• Leveraging the IP of 33 organizations on the Action Team• Resources already in the community – Recruiting skilled workers – Staff training – Exporting – Financing – Business location/re-location – Assistance with local government
    13. 13. ACTION TEAM• Agriculture and • Credit Union Atlantic Agri-Food Canada • Dalhousie University• Atlantic Canada Opportunities Career Centre Agency • Destination Halifax• Black Business Initiative • Eco-Efficiency Centre, Dalhousie• Blue Water Business University Development Corporation • Entrepreneurs Forum• Business Development Bank of • Export Development Canada Canada • Foreign Affairs & International• Canada/Nova Scotia Business Trade Canada Development Centre • Halifax Chamber of Commerce• Centre for Entrepreneurship • Halifax Regional Municipality Education and Development• Centre for Women in Business at MSVU
    14. 14. • iNOVA Credit Union • Nova Scotia Office Of Immigration• Metropolitan Immigrant • Nova Scotia Power Inc. Settlement Association • Saint Mary’s University• MSVU-Career Planning Centre Business Development Centre• Nova Scotia Business Inc. • Saint Mary’s University Executive• Nova Scotia Community & Professional Training College • Saint Mary’s University• Nova Scotia Department of Student Employment Centre Labour and Workforce • Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Development Relations Export Development• Nova Scotia Economic Canada Development• Nova Scotia Economic Development-Procurement
    15. 15. Where…Do you Start?
    16. 16. SET PRIORITIES: Better local Meet face to face business climate with CEOReal-time problem Uncover challenges Keep Existing solving and opportunities Businesses
    17. 17. DO YOUR RESEARCH:Consult with successful community programs Cities, Provinces, StatesDevelop diagnostic toolIdentify target companies Size, Sector, GrowthStructure resolution process
    18. 18. How…Do You…operate? How…Do You…operate, resource, report, benchmark, adjust & measure success?
    19. 19. PROGRAM STAFFINGHow…Do You…operate?• Outreach personnel – Sales function – Consistent, proactive approach – Knowledge of economy and action network – Training!!!!• In-house support – Business development – Research – Marketing and communications
    20. 20. BUILD AN ACTION TEAM• Customer service department Identify• Ready to respond high risk• Resources already in community firms Improved Employer• Selected based on customer needs PR information requests• Identified point person for each service provider organisation Company• Information sharing Investment specific Action Team• Track referrals and outcomes attraction issues referrals leads Business Measured expansion impacts leads
    21. 21. HOW DO YOU RESOURCE?How…Do You…resource? Action Team Funders GHP Company Specific Stakeholders Company Visit Issues Governments Company Common Issues Media
    22. 22. HOW DO YOU REPORT?MARKETING AND BRANDING• Generates awareness – Speaks directly to customers – the wealth and job creators• Lends credibility – Gets you in the door with decision makers• Builds community confidence – Publicizing success stories promotes local employers and Action Team while positioning community as business-friendly
    23. 23. SMARTBUSINESS REFERRALS: APRIL 1, 2009 How…31, 2010TO MARCH Do You…report? Expanding a business Exporting 12% Financial assistance 21% Municipal assistance Networking opportunities 22% 8% Product or technology development Provincial government 10% Tax Minimization Strategies 3% 7% Recruitment and Retention 3% 5% 5% 4% Immigration Workforce dvelopment
    24. 24. REFERRAL Measure perceptions of local Tackle economy Measure widespread cost of no concerns action Systemic Influence policy and Issues Engage key partners programs Benchmark Benchmark climate municipal factors services
    25. 25. HOW DO YOU BENCHMARK?BUSINESS RETENTION AND EXPANSION-AWARDS• Economic Developers Association of Canada – Best Program of 2006 in Canada• Business Retention and Expansion International – Best Business Retention and Expansion Program in North America of 2005
    26. 26. HOW DO YOU ADJUST?RESULTSQuantitative • 4900 jobs created or retained • 1800 visitations • 900 problems resolved • 90% Closed referral files Qualitative • Saying thanks • Business service • Value to community
    27. 27. HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS? SmartBusiness has…• Identified companies at risk and convinced them of the Greater Halifax value proposition• Helped companies meet workforce challenges• Facilitated new contracts, R&D assistance, and other assistance that directly contribute to a company’s bottom line.
    28. 28. SMARTBUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES D.R.H. Canvas & Marine Issue: • Operating Costs challenges Action • The Smartbusiness team contacted Nova Scotia Power on behalf of. D.R.H. Canvas & Marine Result • D.R.H. worked with NSPI’s recommendations and saw significant savings as a result
    29. 29. SUCCESS STORY QuickSnap Inc. Issue • Wanted to explore sales prospects in new markets Action • Referred the company to Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) to discuss exporting and upcoming trade missions Result • QuickSnap participated in an NSBI trade mission to Florida • Negotiated with Disney as well as with Champs Sports 600 US retail outlets
    30. 30. SUCCESS STORYNeocon InternationalIssue:• Accessing Research &Development IncentivesAction• The Greater Halifax Partnership put the company in touch with the Business Development Bank of Canada  Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) programResult• Neocon was successful in receiving a significant tax credit
    31. 31. SUCCESS STORYMacTara LimitedIssue• Layoff of 100 workersAction• Co-chaired a Transition Team that supported employees affected by the layoffsResult• Enligna AG, bought MacTara Limited.  The new owners hired 60 former MacTara employees• the remaining workers were linked to other job opportunities
    32. 32. SUCCESS STORYTime & Space MediaIssue• Challenges with utility providersAction• The Greater Halifax Partnership connected the company with a representative from Nova Scotia PowerResult• The power lines were moved the next day.
    33. 33. SUCCESS STORYI.M.P. AerospaceIssue• Challenges recruiting skilled labour in Halifax:  understanding the process for international recruitment from an immigration perspectiveAction• Referred to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration on behalf of I.M.P. AerospaceResult• The Office of Immigration assisted I.M.P. in determining the best way to bring chosen candidates to work in Halifax after the job fairs
    34. 34. SUSTAINABILITY• Communicate results• Service customers proactively• Build lasting partnerships• Create brand awareness• Don’t duplicate• Use current technology