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Supporting Jobs and Growth in Southwestern Ontario

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Supporting Jobs and Growth in Southwestern Ontario

Province Investing in Local Economic Development

Ministry of Rural Affairs

Ontario is helping communities in Elgin and Oxford Counties boost tourism, attract investment and create jobs.

The province is providing $755,292 through the Rural Economic Development Program to:

  • Create a test kitchen incubator in Elgin County that will allow local agri-food businesses to conduct advanced product testing, develop new recipes and better move products from the lab to the global marketplace.
  • Help Elgin County develop a strategic plan that will strengthen its online marketing presence, attract and retain a creative workforce, and better promote local economic development and tourism activities.
  • Help St. Thomas and Elgin County develop a three-year plan that will identify short and long-term employment opportunities, potential high-growth sectors and collaborations involving the local community and businesses.
  • Develop a master plan that will help Port Bruce promote local business development, boost tourism and attract new residents.
  • Renovate and expand Port Stanley's Festival Theatre to accommodate more visitors and boost local tourism.
  • Develop a detailed plan that will increase pedestrian traffic along the east side of Port Stanley's waterfront, create a safer, more reliable boat launch, and boost local retail development.
  • Implement a strategic plan that will help the South Central Ontario Region Economic Development Corporation identify potential high-growth sectors, attract investment and improve the local and regional agri-food sector distribution channels.
  • Help the Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance develop a strategic plan to better leverage its partnerships with other regional economic development organizations.
  • Help the YWCA of St. Thomas connect unemployed women with jobs and services by organizing local community events, creating mentorship and leadership opportunities, and developing a resource guide that outlines education, health care and other important social services.
  • Conduct a hotel feasibility study that will help St. Thomas attract investment, boost local economic development and market itself as a historical tourism destination.
  • Help Milton create a business plan to establish an education innovation centre that will integrate post-secondary education, residential housing and businesses to better leverage local knowledge sector opportunities. 

Supporting rural communities is part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths -- its people and strategic partnerships.

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“To help grow and diversify rural Ontario’s economy, we must continue to provide local communities with business-friendly tools, resources and supports. Through the Rural Economic Development Program, these rural communities will be better positioned to attract investment, create jobs and grow their economies.”

Jeff Leal

Minister of Rural Affairs



Business and Economy Jobs and Employment Rural and North