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Business Retention and Expansion project

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That Council of the Township of Whitewater Region received a report for information purposes with an update on the survey completion for the Business Retention & Expansion project.

Business Outreach Manager Scott Hamilton said that the deadline for businesses to complete the survey had been extended to almost three months.

He said there were 402 businesses that were registered with a north American business code.

“We were able to contact through phone, email or direct mat 256 of those businesses.” Hamilton said said, which comprised 80%” of those, we had 185 businesses that were listed.”

“We have 81 different businesses that have completed to some capacity, and 74 that have completed it.”

He said there was a 20% response rate, almost double the 10% average response rate.

He said that 77% rated whitewater region “as a good or excellent place to start a businesses.” and 94% rated it as good or excellent for quality of life.

“Going forward there will be kind of a task force retreat in June .

He thanked Tatia Wallace and Jim Butterworth for assisting in the analysis.

He said they would be working with OMAPHRA for the analysis and the final report will come to Council

Dave McGonegal – Renfrew County Beef Farmers of Ontario
• Bev Buchanan – Buchanan Sand and Gravel
• Cindy Jamieson – Jamieson Travel & Whitewater Inn
• Jeff Black – Glasshouse Botanics
• Chris Thompson – Whitewater Brewery
• Bill McGill – Summerhill Resorts

“That includes all sizes of businesses in Whitewater?” Councillor Nicholson asked.

“That includes any businesses registered as a businesses in North America and Business Canada, so it might miss some businesses operating out of the home. “ Hamilton said.

“I’m interested to see what the next step is.” Councillor Olmstead said. “I think there’s a lot of good information in there to help us help businesses, but it really isn’t our job to create jobs.”

“We were really surprised at how many surveys came in.” Councillor Mackay said.

“Some of this data has already been used for grant applications.” Hamilton said, in regards to Olmstead’s point.”

The motion to accept the report was carried.