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Regional Almaguin Highlands Business Retention & Expansion Project

The Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce (AHCC) has proposed the implementation of the “Regional Almaguin Highlands Business, Retention and Expansion Project”.  This project will include the participation of 13 communities, all located within the Almaguin region. These communities include the following;

The Villages of  Burk’s Falls, South River and Sundridge, The Municipalities of Powassan and Magnetawan, The Townships of  Armour, Ryerson, Machar, Strong, Joly, Chisholm, McMurrich/Monteith, and the Town of Kearney.

Economic and business development is a clear mandate for the Almaguin Region and this project will help strengthen and diversify the local economy. Engaging the business community is crucial to sustaining and growing the economy. The project will provide the needed knowledge to address any concerns, improve relationships with businesses, improve community and business competitiveness/capacity. The project will help develop further action plans to grow and stimulate the economy, identify and embrace opportunities and address issues or concerns.

Communities often lack the capacity to pursue and realize economic opportunities on their own. CAEDA, and its municipalities’ are proud to be working together, with the previously mentioned communities in order foster future growth and job creation through the pursuit of long-term, sustainable economic development. Learn more about B, R & E.

Pre-Budget Economic Round Table with Tony Clement

On January 15th 2015, CAEDA welcomed the Honourable Tony Clement, MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka to Almaguin! Mr. Clement travelled to Almaguin to hold a Pre-Budget Economic Round Table discussion with local business owners at Bernard’s Bistro in Sundridge. Local businesses were provided an excellent opportunity to sit with Mr. Clement and discuss the current business environment as well as provide their opinions, concerns and ideas when it comes to future Federal budgets. Business reps were then able to network further with each other and Mr. Clement over an amazing lunch served by Bernard’s Bistro and local Highlander Brew Co. craft beer samples!

Through working with Tony‘s office, CAEDA brought forward a diverse mix of 8 local businesses to participate in the round table including Almaguin Campground, Highlander Brew Co., Kent Trusses Ltd., Near North Industrial Solutions, North-Tel Communications, Stan Darling Insurance, Swift Canoe and Waveform Plastics.

Employers’ Council and Settlement Services

Some exciting news for employers in the Central Almaguin area is the formation of an employers’ council by HR North, North Bay Multicultural Centre & CAEDA. This council will be made up of some Almaguin employers and social services leaders to take part in Northeastern Ontario’s groundbreaking Immigration Project. This council will concern itself with important regional topics such as labour shortages, employee attraction/retention and as well as how immigration fits into all of this. Other than this, the council will provide local employers with an opportunity to network and have a voice heard and supported by key partners across Northern Ontario.

This two-year project aims to provide the municipalities and their employers with the tools they need to increase the immigration of skilled professionals and tradespeople, as well to assist with business succession planning. This includes training, business retention and attraction strategies, and assistance for municipal strategic planning relating to immigration. The project also involves a settlement worker coming to each municipality once a month to work with immigrant clients and network with social service agencies.

At the end of the project, a ‘how-to’ document will be produced, supported by an evaluation study that assesses results and establishes causal links between project activities and stakeholder outcomes. A key objective will be to ensure that other Northern municipalities, anywhere in Canada, learn from the efforts of the Northern Ontario project and are able to replicate its successes.

The Almaguin Employers’ Council is up and running, already tackling important employment and immigration issues. Discover more by reading the New Canadian Media article about the Project.

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Humaniqa HR Services

Humaniqa is an online based human resources assistant for small to medium businesses.  CAEDA, Southern Almaguin Economic Development, Employment North and Labour Market Group have partnered to purchase a subscription for all businesses in the Central and South Almaguin regions. All businesses are encouraged to tap in to the resource and do a “human resources health check”.  You can also create policies, letters, and an employee handbook with just a few simple clicks.  Legislature is easy to find, webinar training is available at a discount, and you can even phone in to speak with a Human Resources professional. The service can be used at South River, Sundridge and Burk’s Falls libraries, and Employment North, just ask staff on location to log you in and explore.  Take advantage of this great service being offered for free to you as a one stop shop for all your business HR needs!

Learn more about the infinite benefits Humaniqa can provide your business here. Humaniqa – Promotional Material

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Welcome Joly Township

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The Central Almaguin Economic Development Association is proud to announce the joining of Joly Township to the Association! Mayor Bruce Baker and Councillor Chris Nicholson will be valuable additions to the CAEDA table. CAEDA, now representing the five Central Almaguin municipalities of Sundridge, Strong, South River, Macharand Joly, will continue to strive for economic and social prosperity for our entire region.

Celebrate Almaguin: Shop Local Movement

During the 2014 Holiday season, Almaguin residents got inspired by the many unique shopping opportunities here in the Highlands instead of traveling to cities and malls for gifts and goods. Together, we celebrated our communities and all of what our businesses have to offer. Shoppers spending $50.00 at a participating local business leading up to Dec. 22, 2014, received a ballot in a draw for a chance to win $100 gift voucher at one of those businesses. Hunters Bay Radio (88.7) ran ads voiced by our Economic Development Officer, Adam Killah and Celebrate Almaguin was posted everywhere in our communities and on Facebook! It is always time to celebrate our beautiful and unique home – the Almaguin Highlands. Read the initiative’s Almaguin News article.

Participating businesses included Acme Pet Foods & Supplies, Anderson’s Flowers & Gifts, Angel’s Knits & Yarn, Bernard’s Bistro, Bray Motors, Corner Wines, Eagle Lake Golf Course, Eagle Lake Marine, Sundridge Foodland, GF Preston Sales & Service, Griffith Bros Service Centre, Groovy Glass Beads, Ha’s Restaurant, Incarnations, Mac Lang, Near North Industrial Solutions, Northern Crafters’ Collective, Zak’s.

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Celebrate Almaguin on Hunters Bay Radio

Tune into Hunters Bay Radio at 88.7 on your dial or http://muskokaonline.com/huntersbayradio for Celebrate Almaguin, the show that connects you the Highlands! Every Monday from 3:30 to 4:00, join our Economic Development Officer, Adam Killah as he hosts the spotlight on Almaguin. Adam talks with local business owners, community groups, athletes and artists. This rewarding partnership between Hunters Bay Radio and CAEDA has provided residents and other interested parties with a weekly news/information outlet focusing solely on the Almaguin Highlands.

Find the Celebrate Almaguin recordings on Soundcloud. Feel free to print and display the show’s poster to spread the word hbrcelebrateposter!

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Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce Membership & Partnership

CAEDA is now a member of the recently expanded Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce (AHCC)! The Chamber strives to be the voice for a prosperous business community that fosters pride in our area and help develop economic growth on behalf of its members.

CAEDA and AHCC have recently announced their partnership in combining last year’s CEADA Local Business Expo with the Chamber’s Festival of Almaguin Business (FAB14). The new and improved business showcase will take place in Burks Falls on May 23, 2015. Learn more about our Chamber.

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2014 Central Almaguin Local Business Expo

CAEDA is extremely proud to deem the first ever Central Almaguin Business Expo a noteworthy milestone for the region’s business community!

46 local vendors and over 20 crafters enjoyed the day and its’ great benefits such as professional networking and effective promotion of their business or products! Revenues generated have been donated to two local food banks by CAEDA. Read Roland Cilliers’ (Almaguin News) full article recapping the event here.

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Highway 124 Extension throughout Central Almaguin

The Central Almaguin Economic Development Association was instrumental in having the highway signage rules changed to allow billboards for the region and its businesses to advertise. Highway 124 was also extended through the area so not to have to municipally maintain the road, which also increased the local economy and created new jobs.

CAEDA also created a strategic plan that led to the region’s need to hire an Economic Development Officer.

Regional Branding

June 12th was the official launch and public presentation of the new regional brand.  The brand consists of the logo and tagline, and marketing of this new brand can begin!  The goal is to be able to identify our area as a distinct place that is great for tourists, residents, business and investment.  We want people to know that it is “better here” in all aspects of life.  The four coloured pieces represent four communities working with and supporting one another, and the four colours themselves represent the four seasons as we are very nature-oriented.  The “white space” or “crossroads” represent both X marks the spot, as well as the intersection of the two important highways in the region.  We hope that residents and business people will be able to use this brand to help identify as part of the region and attract people to this wonderful area.

To see a video of the meeting go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN4tlNA9JPE

Networking BBQ

CAEDA and the Labour Market Group hosted a free Business Networking BBQ on June 17th, 2013.  Many thanks go to the Lion’s Club cooked the hot dogs and burgers and to the many businesses that donated door prizes!  It was a great way to get the business community out for some food and sharing.

Social Media For Your Business

On May 13th, 2013 CAEDA and The Labour Market Group hosted “Social Media for your Business” with Nicole Saulnier from SOS Media in Parry Sound.  Local business people were able to learn about the various forms of social media and how they can be used effectively to promote their business, attract and retain customers.  In just a few minutes a week you can use social media successfully!

Funder’s Forum

On April 22, 2013 CAEDA and the Labour Market Group hosted a Funder’s Forum event at Corner Wines in South River.  Local business people were able to connect face to face with representatives from various funding agencies and business support services.  The turnout was great and the evening was a success!

Business Breakfast with Tony Clement

January 16th, 2013 CAEDA hosted a Business Breakfast to celebrate and announce what is happening in the region, thanks to all of CAEDA‘s hard work.  With many business representatives attending this event, the morning was a great success!

Minister Tony Clement was at the Sundridge-Strong-Joly Arena to announce to all who attended that FedNor has granted to the region $134,250 for use towards the branding/marketing initiative CAEDA has undertaken. Laura Johnston, the new Economic Development Officer intern was officially introduced to the community, CAEDA having secured a Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation grant to be able to fund such a position. Jocelyn Palm (owner of Glen Bernard Camp) was also honored as a recipient of the Order of Canada.

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