In our continued efforts to provide accountability for the operating investments made in the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC), here’s another edition of our Weekly Activity Report:
· A former SSMEDC small business client is continuing with her upward trend. Several years ago, Jeannette Orazietti used her graphic design skills and love of baking to establish Jeannette’s Custom Cakes. To help get the company started, she first utilized the services of the SSMEDC’s Enterprise Services team, which provides support to help area entrepreneurs open or expand a small business. With some professional help, Jeannette’s Custom Cakes opened and flourished. Today, with orders soaring, the firm recently hired a new staffer. Information on the business and its products is available at www.jeannettescustomcakes.com. This is one of many success stories for the SSMEDC. The Corporation works with entrepreneurs at every step of business development: startup, retention and expansion. Jeannette’s Custom Cakes is a prime example.
· Tourism Sault Ste. Marie works to attract visitors to the city. One way it does this is by bidding on or supporting major events. On that front, over the past several months, the SSMEDC division has been working with the United Steel Workers in securing and facilitating its USW District 6 Conference. Taking place next week, the event is expected to attract more than 400 union delegates from across Ontario and the Atlantic provinces, which will inject around $250,000 into the local economy. In 2014, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie’s activity in attracting events and selling vacation packages generated 22,780 visitor days, $3.2 million in direct visitor spending and millions of more dollars in indirect economic activity. Over the past five years, this activity generated 173,280 visitor days and $24.4 million in direct visitor spending.
· The SSMEDC’s summer students are wrapping up another fruitful year. One of their main tasks is to call virtually every company in town to record data for the annual Business Directory. The summer student positions are made possible with funding from Service Canada and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. The funding is part of the SSMEDC’s leveraging efforts. For instance, in 2014, the Corporation received $1.76 million from the Municipality, which included one-time investments for special projects financed by City Council’s Economic Development Fund. Using this core investment, the SSMEDC secured $2.34 million from senior levels of government and the private sector. Over the past five years, the Corporation received $7.98 million from the City, and the SSMEDC used this funding to secure more than $14 million from other sources to deliver projects and services for the community.