From a bird’s eye view (or for a more modern expression – Google Maps Satellite view) it is pretty easy to see that there is a lot of room for growth in Burk’s Falls, Armour Township and Ryerson Township. With the four-lane expansion of Highway 11 complete, it is safe to say that our community is more accessible, and closer (from a drive time perspective) to major markets than ever before. The last few years have seen some fairly considerable developments in once vacant landscapes both within the Village it’s self, but also in the Commercial Drive and Highway 520 areas. The Councils of Armour, Ryerson and Burk’s Falls, with the help of the Burk’s Falls and Area Community Economic Development Committee (or BACED), are starting to realize that geographically, they are ‘positioned for growth’.
This positioning may, from an outside perspective, be attractive to prospective investors, businesses and entrepreneurs. It certainly has the councils of Armour, Ryerson and Burk’s Falls taking a good look at their level of investment readiness and their ability to attract business investment. Both Armour and Burk’s Falls have projects underway to ensure their likelihood of attracting the attention of prospective investors and entrepreneurs. Armour Township is currently making preparations to bring a 19 Acre industrial park on-line, and as mentioned in the “On the Road to Revitalization” article, Burk’s Falls has their sights set on revitalizing their downtown and waterfront. Both projects are sure to increase the capacity for investment, however presents an entirely new series of questions.
How are we going to sell our community’s positioning and opportunities? Who are we going to sell them too? Which sectors or business types would be best suited for development in our community? All of these questions have been brought up at many discussions at the Council and BACED tables. It was clear that we needed some expert assistance on the matter. To put it simply, if we want to chart a course for our future development, we need a solid direction to move in and some concrete evidence that suggests that its the best direction to be moving in. Enter McSweeney and Associates Consulting. With assistance from the FedNor Northern Ontario Development Program and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Community Capacity Building Program, the municipalities were able to hire McSweeney and Associates to produce a Target Sector and Business Opportunity Analysis. The analysis will review the community’s current economic situation and identify key businesses sectors that would be suited for development in the area, and specific gaps that exist within the community’s business mix that present opportunities for growth. In the economic development field, McSweeney and Associates are among the leading firms that promote investment readiness and economic development. Their Formula for Economic Success has helped many communities across the country come closer to realizing their development potential in today’s competitive landscape.
Once the analysis and final report are completed, the councils are confident that they will have the necessary information they require to make educated decisions regarding the use of their investment lands and opportunities. In addition, this final report will contain a wealth of up-to-date information that investors, entrepreneurs and business owners will be able to use to substantiate their business planning efforts and align their growth with the growth of the community as a whole.
The Target Sector and Business Opportunity Analysis Report will be available to the public in early 2018, just in time for the building season and peak tourism seasons. Form more information, please contact the economic development office!