A vibrant community needs local businesses that offer the services we depend on and that create employment. We need a plan to sustain our downtown and ensure that Port Hope is a place welcoming to entrepreneurs and industry, attracting investment to our local economy.

A Vibrant Business Community

Before thinking about attracting new businesses to our community, it’s crucial that we support those already here, employing people and providing goods and services. This includes the many small businesses that make up our downtown, those located in other retail centres such as the plazas on Toronto Rd. and Peter St., those located throughout our neighbourhoods, and our agricultural and industrial sectors. These retailers, restaurants, and service providers, are the backbone of our local economy, and we should be supporting them. Here’s how:

    • Working closely with the Chamber of Commerce and HBIA to respond to their needs and to facilitate their ability to attract customers.
    • Paving the way for new business development. We should make it as easy as possible for people to start and expand small businesses. The “Start or Expand Your Business” portal on the Municipality’s website and the incentives under the Community Improvement Plan are a great start. But, I know our business community have lots of ideas about what’s most useful to them that we can learn from and build on.
    • Investing in cultural and community events that attract visitors who will come, stay, shop, and eat in our local establishments.
    • Ensuring Port Hope is an attractive and affordable community for business leaders and staff alike.

Attracting Business Investment

Increasingly, entrepreneurs and business owners are looking outside of major urban centres for places to set-up shop. They are looking for communities which are open to investment and that will be attractive to their workforce.  We can be just such a place. Here’s how:

    • By encouraging our young people to stay. Employers are looking for a younger workforce, so we must keep our downtown vibrant and support cultural events and activities geared to a younger demographic.
    • By promoting our unique offerings, including our workforce and our ideal geographic location. This should build on the research in the 2021 Environics Analytics Report, commissioned by the Municipality.
    • By advocating with our partners in other levels of government for convenient and affordable public transit connecting us to the GTA. Concerningly, VIA Rail recently announced they will no longer be offering discounted rail passes or convenient commuter options for Port Hope.
    • By working with the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board to sustain and revitalize Port Hope High School. We know that access to good schools is a key factor in attracting business investment.
    • By supporting local businesses and industry to lead the way in emerging sectors, including sustainable energy, building, and transportation. This can have a spin off benefit of positioning Port Hope as a leader, making our community more attractive for investment.
    • By supporting agricultural businesses in Ward 2 to remain competitive and viable in local and larger food systems and attract the investment and staff they need

Do you have ideas about business and work?

I’d love to hear your ideas and perspective!