Orillia’s Community Development Corp. has launched a study on the local economy, with interviews planned for about 200 business owners/managers.

“Over the next few months, almost 200 community businesses will be provided the opportunity to voice their opinions about the local economy through a regional Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) Research Project,” the CDC noted in a media statement.

Trained volunteers will visit businesses and conduct confidential interviews with the senior level management, owners or managers.

Through these interviews, business and market data will be collected that can then be used to support economic development planning, the CDC noted.

“Our local businesses are important to our communities.  Giving them the opportunity to share their perspective on our local business climate will allow local governments and organizations to strengthen or develop programs and supports that meet their needs,” said Wendy Timpano, General Manager of the Orillia Area CDC.

The last study was conducted in 2010. It identified four key areas to be addressed, including business training, the need for improved relationships with the city, ‘buy local’ campaigns, and skilled labour needs.

“The study also resulted in streamlined development approval processes and an industrial development charge moratorium that has resulted in more than $15-million in new and expanded industrial development and approximately 50 new manufacturing jobs,” the CDC stated.

The results of the current regional BR+E project will be made available in the spring of 2016.

To participate, call project coordinator, Gary Staines at 705 325-4903 ext 114 or [email protected].

The CDC is a federally supported not-for-profit organization, working with community partners to develop and sustain the local economy through business financing, business counseling and community economic development projects.

For more information, visit www.orilliacdc.com.

Source: Orillia Today