Luke Edwards, Niagara This Week
Economic development awards continue to roll in
The City of Port Colborne isn’t subscribing to the Atkins diet.
At the 55th annual Economic Developers Council of Ontario conference, the city received two first place awards of excellence for its Carbohydrate Valley business retention and expansion program, as well as its Niagara’s South Coast marketing campaign. The first place awards marked the second year in a row the city was recognized provincially. It won awards in 2011 for both marketing and research.
“The City of Port Colborne is delighted to be recognized, once again, for our first-class initiatives in the field of economic development,” said Mayor Vance Badawey.
In May 2011 the city organized and hosted over 100 delegates from around the world who toured Niagara’s bio-food processing sector. The group visited Port Colborne businesses Casco Inc and Jungbunzlauer Canada Inc. as well as the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Niagara College and Brock University. The event earned the city a first place economic development award in business retention and expansion.
“To be judged a leader in this competition that included cities and regions of all sizes, confirms the quality of our marketing and economic development initiatives and validates the increased awareness that our city is developing from across Ontario,” Badawey said.
Local bio-food business members praised the event for its networking component.
“This initiative provided a unique chance to showcase our activities in Port Colborne to potential customers and to trade and investment representatives from around the world,” said Rob Kee, managing director of Casco Inc., pointing out that the visit has led to follow-up talks and potential business opportunities.
Last year the city unveiled a new marketing campaign called “Niagara’s South Coast: Uncharted, Unexpected.” The campaign was designed to showcase Niagara’s southern tier and piggy back on the major tourist attractions of the Horseshoe falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake’s wineries. It highlights the area’s sport fishing, cycling and cultural events, among others.
The campaign received a first place award for the marketing campaign.
“It’s encouraging to see our business retention and expansion, and tourism marketing initiatives recognized as being among the best in Ontario,” said Stephen Thompson, general manager and director of economic development, tourism and marketing for the city.
The awards come on the heels of recognition received at International Economic Developers Council conference last year, where the city received a number of awards including a leadership award for Thompson. It was the first time a Canadian received the honour.