Creation of Invest Ottawa to be flagship of City’s new economic development plan
Ottawa - The City’s proposed new economic development plan went live today, proposing a number of targeted and measurable investments to support economic development in Ottawa in the coming years.
“I am very pleased with what is being put forward today. This economic development plan is the result of strong planning and excellent consultation with our partners in the business community,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “It is about responding to an ever-changing and highly competitive economic climate and creating the conditions for success and continued prosperity for Ottawa.”
In July 2010, City Council approved Partnerships for Prosperity, a five-year economic development strategy, and directed staff to prepare an implementation plan. Since then, the City has engaged its many stakeholders to identify priorities and develop a concrete list of economic development activities for 2011 and beyond. In addition, as part of the 2011 budget deliberations, Council approved an increase of $2 million for economic development priorities, which represents a 57 per cent increase over the 2010 budget.
If approved, this economic development strategy will lead to $5.5 million in annual investments targeted to various economic development projects and initiatives, including:
- Working with OCRI to create Invest Ottawa with an investment of $1.55 million in 2011 and increasing to $2.265 million by 2012. Invest Ottawa will be focused on attracting investment and expanding and retaining businesses in key industry sectors including green energy, aerospace and defence, photonics, life sciences, digital media, and film and television. Invest Ottawa will be launched in the fall of 2011;
- Developing a joint major events attraction office in partnership with Ottawa Tourism with an investment of $505,000 in 2011 and increasing to $550,000 in 2012. This office will be mandated to attract and support large-scale cultural and sports events that have significant positive benefits for the local economy;
- Using Invest Ottawa to increase support for film and television production in the city, an underdeveloped component of our creative economy;
- Growing local business talent with an investment of $1.4 million to enhance entrepreneurship programming, which includes the creation of a business incubation space; and,
- Increasing support to Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) as local economic development agents.
The report will be considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee on July 7 and by City Council on July 13.
For a comment from the Mayor: