To demonstrate accountability to citizens and funding partners, the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) releases a number of publications and corporate communications material throughout the year. The organization’s 2015 Results, Activity & Outcomes report is now available. Included in the May 16 City Council agenda package, it can be viewed online at www.sault-canada.com Below are some highlights from the report.
The SSMEDC’s Business Development team works to support existing companies, along with current and aspiring entrepreneurs, and attract external firms and investment. The overall goal is to generate wealth for the community, create and retain jobs, and increase the Municipal tax base. Highlights from 2015 include:
In 2015, the SSMEDC delivered more than 500 formal consultations to new and existing clients. Averaging one hour each, and with considerable prep time required for things like reviewing business plans, this activity represents well over 1,000 hours or 150 days of staff time. The SSMEDC also facilitated 40 seminars and handled over 1,500 general inquiries from entrepreneurs seeking information.
Throughout 2015, the SSMEDC continue to play a key role in a number of major community projects, including the Port of Algoma, Invest Sault Ste. Marie, Canal District downtown revitalization initiative, Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship, and SSM/OLG Modernization Project.
In 2015, SSMEDC activity led to 29 business startups and expansions, which created or retained 150 jobs. Clients in 2015 included SIS Manufacturing, Guy’s B & R CSN Collision Centre, Contained Space, Envirotek Sealing & Fibreglassing, Meakin Contracting, and Arauco. Between 2010 and 2015, SSMEDC activity generated 194 business startups and expansions, which created or retained more than 1,700 jobs.
Over the past decade, the SSMEDC helped attract a number of external firms and investment, including the Arauco Melamine Lamination Plant, JD Aero, KKR/Starwood Energy, Canadian Bank Note, Heliene Canada, Sutherland Global Services, Ellsin Environmental, Pollard Banknote, and Agero. These companies, which employ nearly 1,000 people, represent just a small sample. The SSMEDC makes efforts to publicize the names of as many clients as possible. However, not all clients want to be named, which is why overall statistics are generally used when reporting results.
Tourism Sault Ste. Marie
Tourism Sault Ste. Marie works to draw visitors by attracting and supporting major conferences and sports tournaments, selling vacation packages, delivering marketing campaigns, developing tourism infrastructure, and attracting cruise ships, motor coach tours and other group excursions. Highlights for 2015 include:
In 2015, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie worked with community groups to attract or host 25 conferences and sports tournaments, which drew 5,745 visitors. Examples of events include the Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championship, United Steelworkers Conference, Ontario Regional Ringette Championships, Northern Ontario Tourism Summit, and Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour.
Working with community partners, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie was also successful at securing a number of 2016 events, such as the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, President’s Cup VIP Poker Run, Canadian Nursing Students National Conference, Ontario University Athletics Wrestling Championship, Ontario Nurses Association Conference, EDCO Spring Symposium, and Ontario Ringette Championships.
In 2015, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie sold 5,717 two and three-night vacation packages. A total of 3,284 were sold on the organization’s Online Reservation System, which processed more than $1 million in sales in 2015. This was a 66% increase over 2014. The Online Reservation System was developed and unveiled by Tourism Sault Ste. Marie in 2011 as the first of its kind in Northern Ontario.
In 2015, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie activity generated 23,951 visitor days and $4.4 million in direct visitor spending. Between 2010 and 2015, this activity generated 197,231 visitor days, $28.8 million of direct visitor spending, and millions more in spinoff economic activity.
Budget & Leveraging Municipal Investments
The SSMEDC receives funding from various sources, including all levels of government and the private sector. Its 2015 investment from the Municipality was $1.67 million, which included one-time funding for special projects supported by City Council’s Economic Development Fund. The SSMEDC received an additional $2.67 million from other sources in 2015. The SSMEDC uses its Municipal investment to lever significant amounts of additional funds to undertake programs and services on behalf of the community. Being able to access high levels of funding from senior levels of government is largely the result of the SSMEDC being an independent, non-profit organization.
Between 2010 and 2015, the SSMEDC received a total of $9.65 million from the City and used this funding to secure over $16.5 million from senior levels of government, the private sector and other sources. Essentially, for every dollar the SSMEDC receives from the Municipality, it secures roughly two dollars from other sources.
The SSMEDC’s Results, Activity & Outcomes report is a requirement of the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding between the SSMEDC and City of Sault Ste. Marie. To provide citizens with information on its day-to-day endeavours, the SSMEDC also publishes weekly activity reports, press releases, newsletters, social media content and other communications. To view this material, visit www.sault-canada.com.