Town of Cobourg Approves New Five Year Economic Development and Venture13 Strategy and Action Plan

In City Hall

At the Monday, July 3rd Regular Council meeting, Cobourg Municipal Council formally adopted a new 5-year Economic Development and Venture13 Strategy and Action Plan.

The Economic Development and Venture13 Strategy is the first of its kind in Cobourg since 2018. In the fall of 2022, the economic development and Venture13 team initiated the project, set to provide a new strategic direction for the Town. The first phase of the project included gathering background research and was presented to Council in March 2023. The background research offered the team insight into the Town’s demographics, economy and business characteristics. Surveys sought feedback from local entrepreneurs on the strategies they felt would strengthen our local business community and information was gathered to compare economic development service delivery roles among similar sized communities.

An extensive stakeholder consultation process occurred during February and March 2023 and included one-on-one interviews, two focus groups and an online survey. This consultation component of the project was led by an economic development consultancy firm, McSweeney and Associates. The findings from this consultation helped to shape new economic development vision and mission statements, key strategy themes and corresponding goal statements.

“Council is pleased with the results of the economic development and Venture13 strategy project,” says Deputy Mayor, Nicole Beatty. “We are grateful to staff for the engagement they
have conducted with our local business community to ensure that this strategy will complement our business landscape and strengthen our future economy. The goals of the strategy will provide clear directive for staff to develop programs to set us up for success over the next five years.”

The five goal statements identified in the Economic Development and Venture13 Strategy and Action plan are:

Strategic Goal 1 – Downtown
To have a downtown that supports not only the local businesses but celebrates our history and culture.

Strategic Goal 2 – Existing Businesses
To build a more resilient economy ensuring that the future of Cobourg will be able to withstand any economic downturn.

Strategic Goal 3 – Workforce
To have a strong skilled workforce to support local businesses will enable them to succeed and will improve youth and workforce engagement.

Strategic Goal 4 – Investment Readiness
To be the first point of contact for non-residential development projects and business requirements from the Town will ensure a timely and efficient response.

Strategic Goal 5 – Entrepreneurs and Innovators
To build the presence of the innovation service offering at Venture13 and tell the story as an integral part of the community will establish it as the centre for innovation and economic
development.

A further consultation component occurred in early May 2023 to prioritize these strategic theme areas and goal statements and help inform staff before implementation. The results
from the community engagement indicated that the highest priority was the retention and attraction of workforce, young families and adults.

The economic development and Venture13 team will report annually on progress made on the strategy and action plan.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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