There’s a story in today’s Financial Post that is headlined, “Collingwood’s debut in top 10 on ranking of business friendly cities is no accident.”
No accident at all, as anyone on council, in staff or who follows local politics knows. We’ve worked hard to get to this. We deserve it. We told you during the election we were finally open for business and here’s the proof: the rest of the country recognizes us.
Collingwood was ranked tenth out of 81 small-sized communities in the FP’s poll, conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses:
In its first year to qualify, the revitalized city, in cottage country about an hour north of Toronto, has landed in 7th place in the Top 10 small cities in the annual survey ranking the strongest entrepreneurial activity in Canada conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for the Financial Post.
We were also the only Ontario municipality to place in the top ten. And in great part, thanks goes to this council’s forward-thinking economic development strategy:
One point of pride is its integrated support system for entrepreneurs. “Our approach is very unique from other municipalities and even larger cities. Typically they are scattered across areas making it more difficult for people to start and grow their own companies,” (Martin Rydlo, director of marketing and business development for the Town of Collingwood) said.
Instead, the offices for the Town of Collingwood, the Business Development Centre and the South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre are all under one roof, next door to the Chamber of Commerce and the Business Improvement Association.
“We’re also within 100 metres of the five core banks and town hall,” Mr. Rydlo pointed out. “So getting permits is as close to a one-stop shop experience as it can be. That’s huge for people starting a business. Add to that a strong angel investment, mentorship and consultant network and everything is there to help people with their growth plans.”
Better yet: we ranked NUMBER ONE in the CFIB’s list for entrepreneurial presence” in its “Top Entrepreneurial Cities, 2014.”
Thanks for the vindication of this council’s policies and initiatives.