|I have been asked to speak today on two topics:1) What is Economic Development doing? 2) How does Team Cornwall fit in?Cornwall is poised at a crossroads today. In general the Ontario and Canadian economies are strong and it follows that now is the time to attract new investment to the city. New investment creates opportunities and leads to job creation. Cornwall’s house is in good order and our research shows that we can compete with any community. While it is true that we must continue to address local issues such as the skill level of our workforce, we must not lose sight that Cornwall remains a great place to do business, a vibrant and friendly community prefect for raising a family.Cornwall Economic Development’s job is to market the advantages of Cornwall to investors worldwide and to assist interested companies in making an informed decision.
These activities take on many forms but I will try and summarize them for you. With a close eye on economic trends and emerging markets we attempt to identify target markets where we think Cornwall’s message will have the greatest impact. Examples include hi-tech, plastics, call centres and of course Quebec. We then use marketing vehicles such as advertising and trade shows to deliver that message. Examples include ads in the Financial Post and the Gazette, or the call centre trade show that we exhibited at in Toronto for the past two days. Other examples include our website and extensive direct mailing lists. These marketing efforts generate over 1000 enquiries each year, to which we respond with a personalized information package. The key part of this information package is the Community Profile. Once an investor shows more interest we arrange site tours or other meetings as requested.
How Can Team Cornwall Help?
Throughout the entire process I have just outlined, we have alway received assistance and support from the local business community. We regularly get leads from local citizens who may have heard that a company is expanding. Many times local companies help us at trade shows and when a company does visit the city, we can count on support from realtors, landlords, bankers and the entire Chamber organization.
In our business, the key is continually raising the profile of the city so that when and if a company is thinking about a new location, Cornwall makes the short list.
This is where we need Team Cornwall’s help. We need you to “talk up” the city in your circles of influence. Tell people that Cornwall is a good city to do business in and deserves a closer look. Tell them that we are one of North America’s lower cost locations, with inexpensive electricity and natural gas. Tell them we have one of the continent’s most bilingual workforces and that our location, infrastructure and real estate costs are second to none.
Tell your cousin who runs a business in New York and your brother-in-law in Calgary. Mention it to your investment advisor, or to the person next to you on the plane. Make an effort to speak to your suppliers, your clients, international consultants. Be as aggressive as you like, or simply pass out your Team Cards. The method is unimportant – what is important is getting the message out!
As always we will respond immediately and efficiently to any enquiry. You may feel that a more general approach is more suitable. Simply pass along name and address information of any company or individual you think should be on our mailing list. They will receive our newsletter on a regular basis.
One of our least favourite comments is “Cornwall? Where is that?” or “I don’t know anything about your City”. Investment will not come to Cornwall by its own accord, especially if investors do not know where we are or what we have to offer.
Team Cornwall is so exciting because it will, in effect, add 100 or more people to our staff. And I cannot think of any better ambassador for our city than a local business leader who lives here, works here and has invested here.
We have a good product. We are competitive. Now all we have to do is work together and Spread the Word!