SSMEDC releases second quarter results

SSMEDC Open House
PHOTO: Dan Hollingsworth, Executive Director of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, presents the organization’s 2018 results during a public open house event on May 10 at the Millworks - Centre for Entrepreneurship.

The Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) recently released its 2019 second quarter results. From April 1 to June 30, the organization delivered a number of programs and services. Highlights for its Business Development division include:

  • Under its Starter Company Plus program, the SSMEDC assisted five small businesses in Q2, including John Endre Foods, Shinobi Asphalt Maintenance & Repair, and Algoma Mask Fitting. Under the Summer Company young entrepreneur program, staff helped 11 students start seasonal businesses.
  • Five new co-working clients moved into the SSMEDC’s Millworks – Centre for Entrepreneurship in Q2. These business owners use desks and resources at the site but do not have permanent office space. The Millworks also hosted eight companies that operate full-time at the facility.
  • Through its Business Retention & Expansion Program, staff assisted 10 companies in their growth projects during Q2. Two clients, China Steel and GR Truss, held announcements. These two expansion projects are expected to create 18 full-time jobs. The SSMEDC also attended the Bright World of Metals trade show with its business client, National Supply Group. During the expo, staff helped the local firm sign or extend partnership deals with five European companies. The end result will be job creation and retention in Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Under its Invest Sault Ste. Marie program, staff delivered formal pitches to 15 external companies. Meanwhile, as a result of previous SSMEDC business attraction efforts, two new businesses established operations in the community during Q2: CX Solutions and RW Medical.
  • In June, Sault Ste. Marie was one of 11 communities across Canada selected to take part in an immigration pilot program. The community now has an additional tool to help address skilled labour shortages. The local application was developed and submitted by the SSMEDC, in partnership with the City of Sault Ste. Marie and other organizations.

Highlights for the SSMEDC’s Tourism Sault Ste. Marie division include:

  • Staff secured or supported six events in Q2, including the SSMEDC’s very own WTF Festival, Ontario Regional Ringette Championships, Travel Media Association of Canada Conference, All Ontario Chiefs Conference, and Ontario Basketball Championships. These conferences and tournaments generated 11,625 visitor days and $1.74 million in direct visitor spending.
  • Due to past cruise ship attraction efforts from the SSMEDC, luxury passenger vessels docked in Sault Ste. Marie five times in June. The ships brought 1,000 passengers, which injected $150,000 of direct visitor spending into the local economy. Staff also helped attract seven motor coach bus tours in Q2, which generated 637 visitor days and just under $100,000 in direct visitor spending.
  • For attraction packages, the SSMEDC sold 546 two and three-night vacation bundles. This activity generated 1,797 visitor days and more than $269,000 in direct visitor spending.
  • In its tourism marketing efforts, the SSMEDC develops and hosts familiarization (FAM) tours for visiting travel media. In June, staff hosted more than 100 travel writers during the 2019 TMAC Conference. This activity will lead to significant marketing exposure. For example, articles have already been published in Forbes Travel Magazine and the Toronto Sun. Meanwhile, during Q2, several tourism stories were published as a result of previous FAM tours. A feature article on Sault area golf courses appeared in On The Tee Magazine and another story, focused on attractions like the Agawa Canyon Tour Train, was published in Group Tour Magazine.

The Q2 results report was released during the SSMEDC’s Board of Directors meeting on September 9. To view the report, go to