When you see new businesses making their home in your community… when you think of job creation, skills development, innovation, and growth… when you are looking to upgrade your skills or looking for a new job in your community… this is economic development.
In broad terms, economic development is the attraction and support of new business and industry to a community and, equally if not more important, the assistance in the expansion and growth of existing businesses in the community. This function plays a key role in helping to strengthen the economy, facilitating the creation of a vibrant, dynamic, prosperous community.
‘Support’, ‘facilitate’, ‘collaborate’, ‘connect’ and ‘resource’ are important words and functions that encompass effective economic development practices.
In the Clarington community, the Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development (CBOT) is a unique model. Rather than operating within the Municipality, they are contracted by the Municipality of Clarington to execute the function of economic development, thus embedding a business approach to economic and community development. For over 20 years CBOT has built the trust and gained the support of the business community in Clarington, directly inspiring CBOT to create customized projects and programming to meet the needs of business and help them achieve their goals. Relationships also continue to strengthen with the investment community, as interest in locating in Clarington is increasing year after year.
Working together with members in all levels of government, businesses, communities, academic institutions and other stakeholders help move opportunities, projects and solutions forward, ranging from infrastructure improvements to workforce development.
Before and beyond the ribbon cutting, economic development offices continue to act as a resource for business: listening, learning and facilitating connections to opportunities, helping to develop a strong economy.
Bonnie Wrightman, Manager of Business Development, Clarington Board of Trade & Office of Economic Development