Business Development: New Business Attraction in Sault Ste. Marie
On April 19th we asked the question “What do you think is missing from the Sault?” It was thought that we would receive a few hundred responses at the most, what ended up happening was better than could be imagined! We received well over 3,200 comments and reached over 20,000 people! Much of the comments were constructive and we greatly appreciate that! One thing stood out in the comments was the fact that business development was the common concern. How do we, as the Sault EDC, work to attract new businesses into the area? When it comes to business development in the Sault there are two main ways the Sault EDC becomes involved in those processes. The first is that we contact the developers directly and the second is when those developers contact us to discuss their interest in coming to the Sault.
For the first one, we may see a need or desire from the community and start the ball rolling from there. In our previous blog post we discussed that members of the Economic Resource Alliance have had several discussions with movie theater companies about the community’s request. This can include being at developer conventions, making phone calls to developers, hosting meetings, and even utilizing our Concierge Program (also discussed in the previous blog) to showcase City assets.
The second option is when a developer contacts us saying they have interest in the region. Much of the next steps work the same way, we assist them in the ways they need help. Some just need contact information on zoning regulations, others may need help with looking at available sites, or they may have interest in the Brownfield program. The questions developers may have could be endless, but what we work to do is answer these questions or find them the people that have the answers. Our main goal is to get them efficient and effective answers.
This may lead to the question of what exactly does our Facebook post do to help with our discussions with developers? When approaching developers it is important for us to have information related to the community. This includes information available on the census, but they will naturally want to know how invested will the community be in their project? As you are reading this blog those Facebook responses are being quantified and we will be able to utilize that data when we discuss the community’s investment in certain types of businesses. Additionally, we have created a new page under the Opportunities tab on our website, Twin Saults. Here we have joint demographic information about our region and statistics about International Bridge crossings. What makes the Sault standout is the close economic relation we have with our neighbors to the north. Unfortunately, most tools used by US developers do not recognize this vital relationship. We continue to update this page regularly.
We continually work to attract new large-scale employers to the area. We recently established the Air Industrial Park and have helped bring back the Manufacturing Alliance. We have conducted 10 asset tours through our Concierge Program and have more planned. We are still working for you, listening to your feedback, and working to develop our business friendly community.
To stay up-to-date with our work, along with our area partners, keep an eye on this blog, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!