STRATEGIC PLAN

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1 Introduction The Russell Township Economic Development strategic plan lays a roadmap for economic development in our area over the coming three years. Leaders in the local business community were consulted for their views on opportunity and challenges for business development as well as the role Russell Township Economic Development can play in supporting growth. Statistical indicators highlight ways the area has changed in the past years and other non-local and local economic development plans were examined to identify both best practices and their application to the economy in Russell Township. Russell Township Today The population in Russell Township has been growing more rapidly than other communities locally, is younger and better educated than neighbouring communities. With a population growth of almost 10 percent between 2006 and 2011, Russell Township is growing much more rapidly than Prescott-Russell, Ontario and Canada. During the one-year period from May to May 10, 2011, 1,410 or 9.5 percent of the population changed residence in Russell Township. Two-thirds of those moving in Russell Township relocated from another area. Of those, 75.5% relocated from other Ontario communities, 19.1% were from other provinces or territories and just over 5% immigrated from outside of Canada. At 39.1, the median age in Russell Township is younger than other communities within the region. The median age in Prescott-Russell is 42.6, 40.4 in Ontario and 40.6 in Canada. 36% of the population in Russell Township is between the age of 25 and 49 key consumer and career years. Over 20% of the population has a university degree or diploma and over 32% has a college or apprenticeship credential. Engineering Technology and Business are the primary fields of study for 21% of those with post-secondary education. 1 P a g e

2 Full labour force participation combined with labour force mobility within the local labour market may result in workforce shortages and challenges for business attraction and growth. Labour force participation in Russell Township is 77.1% as compared to 65.5% in Ontario. The Unemployment Rate is 4.3% locally compared to 5.3% in Prescott-Russell and 8.3% in Ontario. 5,210 people or 56.6% of those in the labour force leave Russell Township each day to go to work. 93.9% of those or 4,890 people are commuting to Ottawa daily. More than one in five (21.8%) locally work in public administration. Other significant sectors of employment include Health Care and Social Assistance (10.7%), Retail Trade (9.7%) Educational Services (8.8%), and Construction (8.3%). The most common occupational groups residents work in include Business, Finance and Administration (21.6%); Sales and Service (15.3%); Trades, Transport, Equipment Operators (14.3%) and Education, Law, Social, Community and Government (14.0%). 11.1% of those in the labour force are self-employed compared to 10.3% in Ontario. At $43, for individuals and $107,371 for families, the median income in Russell Township is higher than in Prescott-Russell and Ontario. Business Surveys and Interviews 2 P a g e

3 The business community in Russell Township was surveyed early in 2014 to obtain feedback into economic development. Questions focused on obtaining insights into opportunities and challenges for local economic development, anticipated job creation and how Russell Township Economic Development could assist their business. Population attraction and access to Highway 417 were viewed as offering the greatest opportunity for economic growth in Russell Township. Supporting local business and infrastructure development combined with promotion of the region were valued as the focus for Economic Development Services. A total of 22 business representatives responded to the survey. Input was also obtained from a Rural Economic Development (RED) Committee with representatives of the Embrun and Russell business community. In addition to the RED Committee, eleven companies (50%) from the Construction Sector responded; 4 (18.2%) from Sales and Service; 2 (9.1%) from Financial and Real Estate; 1 (4.5%) from Business Management Services; 1 (4.5%) Retail; 1 (4.5%) Tourism; and 1 (4.5%) non-profit organization. Business respondents were equally divided in viewing population attraction and access to Highway 417 as leading opportunities for economic growth. Support of local small business and attracting visitors to the area were also seen as opportunities. Concerns with taxation, government regulations, and lack of water/sewer infrastructure were primary challenges to development along with the need for small business support, availability of lease space, and access to skilled labour. Over 68% of businesses did not anticipate job creation due to the view that the businesses growth had been maximized and ideal size attained. More than 31% anticipated job creation as a result of market growth and new product/service development. Infrastructure development, small business support and promotion of the region are opportunities for Russell Township Economic Development to support growth in the local economy. Our Strategic Focus 3 P a g e

4 Statistical data highlighting the growth of our well-educated population and labour force mobility, the views of our business community and strategic actions underway advancing economic development in Prescott-Russell United Counties resulted in the identification of three strategic goals for economic development in Russell Township in the coming three years: 1. Promote population attraction through well-planned urban development aligning with Prescott-Russell strategies to establish an unparalleled quality of place. 2. Attract and grow local businesses through infrastructure development, business support and market development. 3. Develop and implement a visitor attraction strategy for Russell Township. 4 P a g e

5 Goal One Promote population attraction through well-planned urban development and participation in Prescott-Russell strategies to establish an unparalleled quality of place. Unlike some of our neighbours in rural Eastern Ontario who struggle with declining or stagnant populations and aging demographics, Russell Township continues to grow. The population is well-educated with above average income. However, with more than 56 percent of the workforce leaving the area each day, we export our talent. Supporting managed population growth in Russell Township will promote business attraction and growth in the region while helping to address potential labour force shortages. Creating a community with the infrastructure and amenities that attracts residents will also contribute to creating a region that is appealing to visitors. Action Lead Partners * Performance Measures Work with Planning and Building, Russell Township to RTPB 10% increase in residential-zoned property in three years advance a managed approach to residential development. Implement strategies for community beautification and recreational infrastructure renewal and development. Promote and participate on quality of place/life focused groups e.g. Prescott-Russell Arts Council, South Nation Conservation Authority, etc. Promote Russell Township amenities locally, provincially, nationally and internationally. Leverage existing reports to broadcast Russell Township progress, e.g. Economic Development updates, EOTB Local Labour Market Plan, etc. * A list of acronyms is included on page 9 RTPR RTPB RTPR PRT EOTB A community beautification committee is established and strategies implemented. Communities in Bloom or similar recognition is sought within three years. Collaborate with Russell Township to support renewal and development of parks, sports complex, etc. Active participant in a minimum of three groups promoting quality of place/quality of life. Revision of Russell Township website and social media presence to attract businesses, potential residents and visitors completed in one year. Statistical data demonstrates sustained 10% population growth. 5 P a g e

6 Goal Two Attract and grow local businesses through infrastructure development, business support and market development. It is generally accepted that 80 percent of job creation within a community is generated by existing businesses. Existing firms are the engines of economic growth, have a stake in the community and set the stage for the area s overall prosperity and quality of life. Promoting Buy Local makes solid economic sense. For every $ spent locally, $73.00 stays in the local economy as wages, charitable donations, taxes and purchases of goods and services from other local businesses. When that same $ is spent outside the community, $43.00 returns to the local community. Finally, building on the strength of existing business has proven to be a successful strategy for industry recruitment. Helping existing businesses to succeed may identify new enterprise for targeted recruitment efforts and satisfied businesspeople can be a community s best ambassadors when recruiting new firms to the area. Action Lead Partners Performance Measures Development of the Highway 417 Industrial Park including increasing the availability of serviced land and beautification of the park. Continue monitoring for federal/provincial grants and participating in investment discussions with Prescott- Russell. Secure negotiated agreement with Prescott-Russell and/or provincial and federal partners to support investment in development of the park. Sale of one parcel of land to anchor tenant. Utilize proceeds of sale to support land servicing. A minimum of 25% increase in serviced land within Establish a business outreach program promoting growth strategies, use of available government business support programs, encouraging local supply chains, etc. Establish a local business association to promote business to business networking, workshop provision, MEDTE REDC three years. 80% of local businesses have been contacted within one year Semi-annual Canadian Business Pattern (StatCan) data for P-R identifies 3% increase in number of businesses. 60% business participation in Russell Township Creation of a minimum of one networking/business 6 P a g e

7 recognition of business excellence, etc. Goal Two (Continued) MEDTE recognition event conducted annually Implementation of a minimum of two business-focused workshops annually. Attract and grow local businesses through infrastructure development, business support and market development. Action Lead Partners Performance Measures Develop an online database of all Russell Township businesses to be promoted to residents and businesses for local purchases. to promote outside RT boundaries. EOTB to provide existing employer data and additional info gathered in REDC EOTB Create and implement a Buy Local campaign in Russell Township Promote participation in program for regionally branding local agricultural products ensuring quality standards. Promote participation in local Buyer Rewards Incentive Program. Buyer earning PR dollars and merchants collecting customer information. Establish a resource centre for start-up businesses and budding entrepreneurs MEDT Database permitting businesses to make updates is developed and posted online within one year. Evaluations by users demonstrate a 75% satisfaction rate. Establish and promote a local Farmer s Market. Promote use of public transit for commuters increasing ridership by 25 percent in three years. A minimum of ten Russell Townships producers are participating in the Buy Local initiative. Evaluations show increasing participation by business and consumers. Increase current participation rate of 70 local businesses by 25 percent. Negotiate with Small Business Enterprise Centre in Hawkesbury On for local presence. To be available a minimum of four hours per week. Canadian Business Pattern data (StatCan) demonstrates annual increase of 5% in small businesses in P-R. 7 P a g e

8 Goal Three Develop and implement a visitor attraction strategy for Russell Township Prescott-Russell United Counties outlines strategies for Creating an Unparalleled Quality of Place and Remarkable Visitor Experiences. In the plan, Millier Dickinson Blais define Quality of Place or alternatively Quality of Life as a collection of assets and infrastructure that influence a person s wellbeing. This could include anything from natural and cultural heritage, public transit, nightlife and restaurants, arts and cultural venues and festivals, hospitals, schools and social services. The amenities that encourage population attraction are very often the same assets that draw visitors. Strategically located within a thirty minute drive from Ottawa and two hours from Montreal, two cities with a combined population over 2.5 million, Russell Township is well-positioned to attract day visitors. Action Lead Partners Performance Measures Establish and implement a sustainable Festival and Event Plan for Russell Township leveraging community assets including P-R Culture plan, Calypso Waterpark etc. PRT PRAC Organizing stakeholder committee established. Plan developed for increasing festival activity from current two to four, coordinating with Prescott-Russell Festival Network. Attendance measures indicate 10% increase year over Link with P-R trails by analyzing existing quiet road and trail infrastructure to establish a bike/hike/crosscountry skiing trail through Russell Township. Collaborate with in obtaining support for Ecology Centre and Entrepreneurship Centre Identify and respond to Request for Proposals issued by funding sources supporting Quality of Life, Tourism, Culture and Sports initiatives. year at events and festivals. Link 7 km of Russell Township/South Nation Conservation Authority trail with 250 km infrastructure in P-R. Support and promote efforts to secure funds to launch PRT $12 million centre accommodating 500 people. RTPR EOTB Submit a minimum of 3 proposal in a 3 year period to provincial and federal funders, foundations, etc. 8 P a g e

9 Glossary of Acronyms EOTB MEDTE PRAC PRT REDC RTPD RTPR Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment (Ontario) Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food Prescott-Russell Arts Council Prescott-Russell Community Futures Development Corporation Prescott-Russell Economic Development and Tourism Prescott-Russell Tourism Rural Economic Development Committee (Embrun and Russell) Russell Township Economic Development Russell Township Planning and Building Russell Township Parks and Recreation South Nation Conservation Authority 9 P a g e

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