What impact does the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) have on the community, and how does the organization use its resources to deliver a return on investment? These questions, and many more, are answered in the Corporation’s 2014 Annual Report. The publication was finalized following the SSMEDC’s annual Board of Directors meeting. The report, which is available online at www.sault-canada.com, includes the following highlights:
· In 2014, the SSMEDC conducted 326 client consultations with company owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. This activity led to 39 business startups and expansions, which created or retained 329 jobs. Over the past five years, this activity helped generate 167 business startups and expansions, which created or retained more than 1,600 jobs.
· In 2014, activity from the SSMEDC’s Tourism Sault Ste. Marie division – in attracting events and selling vacation packages – generated 22,780 visitor days, which led to $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.
· 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 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 core funding to secure more than $14 million from other sources.
“Our organization receives operating investments from all levels of government and the private sector, and it’s important that our funding partners, along with the citizens of Sault Ste. Marie, understand what we do and what impact our activity has on the community,” said Don Mitchell, President and Board Chair of the SSMEDC. “Our 2014 Annual Report highlights our activities and results generated, which ultimately demonstrates accountability for the investments we receive.”
Along with the highlights mentioned above, the 2014 Annual Report includes the SSMEDC’s key community economic development initiatives that were advanced throughout the year, including the Port of Algoma, Millworks Small Business Incubator, SSM/OLG Modernization Project, and a tourism initiative based on the iconic Group of Seven artists.
The SSMEDC’s Annual Report is generally published mid-year to enable audited Financial Statements to be included. The release date also allows for a more accurate picture of results to be captured. For instance, if an SSMEDC industrial client expanded or opened a business in 2014, specific job creation and retention numbers are confirmed in the middle of 2015.