Community

Plan to help business community overcome challenges

York Region has set out a plan to support local businesses and talent over the next four years that includes strengthening its Foreign Direct Investment program.

Among other things, the recently-approved 2024 to 2027 Economic Development Action Plan will also deliver small business services and rural economic development support through the York Small Business Enterprise Centre.

“Identifying challenges in the business community and taking action to overcome them is the backbone of the 2024 to 2027 Economic Development Action Plan,” says City of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Joe DiPaola, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development. “The 2024 to 2027 Action Plan builds on important work already underway to complement our partners’ efforts and drive economic prosperity together.”

The new Economic Development Action Plan contains 20 specific actions that fall under one of four pillars: business, innovation, talent, and marketing and awareness. Those actions include administering relevant funding opportunities to promote innovation in the community like the York Region Innovation Investment Fund and the York Region Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund.

Highlights also include working with partners to support talent attraction and retention, including newcomer engagement, enhancing the York Link marketing platform to engage with the business community, and leading the development and management of a regional promotional framework for investment-ready vacant employment lands to support local municipalities with greenfield investment attraction.

“Economic vitality remains a strategic priority for York Regional Council,” York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson says. “Working in collaboration with our nine local cities and towns, senior levels of government and industry partners, we have created thriving conditions for York Region’s 56,000 businesses. Investing in business supports and services is integral to ensuring businesses and employees in York Region continue to thrive and contribute to a vibrant economy.”

Under the 2020 to 2023 Economic Development Action Plan, the Region delivered collaborative business advisory services to strategic sectors region-wide and small businesses in the N6 municipalities, facilitating the creation of more than 5,000 new jobs.

The Region also reports providing funding and collaborating on funding projects to bolster York Region’s business growth and supports like ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund. It also established a Business Recovery Support Partnership with key stakeholders to support businesses through the pandemic response and recovery, and completed the first York Region Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector Strategy.

York Region businesses provide more than 616,000 jobs in a variety of industries, including agriculture and agri-food, auto tech and auto parts, building and construction, financial and professional services, information communications technology. Visit YorkLink.ca to learn more about economic development in York Region and available resources to grow a business.

Photo of the York Small Business Enterprise Centre located with the York Region building courtesy of York Region.

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