Southwestern Ontario ranks high as business investment destination

LONDON, ON, June 4 /CNW Telbec/ - A survey of business attitudes conducted for the Southwest Economic Alliance (SWEA) by pollster Allan Gregg finds southwestern Ontario is a preferred destination for business investment, with 53 per cent of those responding likely to consider an investment in the region.

The survey results were released today at SWEA's fifth annual conference in London, Ont. The conference brings together the region's municipal, business and academic leaders to assess its strengths and find ways to connect and combine them for greater results.

Allan Gregg, chairman of Harris/Decima, conducted the survey of Ontario business owners and managers between May 14 and May 30. Asked to rank southwestern Ontario's strengths, respondents put access to the U.S. market first, followed closely by the region's high-quality workforce, roads and highways, and post-secondary educational institutions ready to work with business. Respondents also view the region's lower local taxes as a significant competitive advantage over the rest of Ontario.

"The survey reveals how others see us and shows they see our region's strengths," said SWEA chair, Stratford mayor Dan Mathieson. "Now it's up to us to build on that favourable impression and create a brand that will tell the world southwestern Ontario is a great place to live, work and do business."

Gregg found that workforce quality is the most important consideration for business leaders when choosing where to invest. He concluded that the high quality of the southwestern Ontario workforce and the role of the region's post-secondary institutions in developing that workforce should form the core of the Southwest brand.

A copy of the survey can be found on the SWEA website: www.swea.ca

SOURCE SOUTHWEST ECONOMIC ALLIANCE (SWEA)

For further information: For further information: Serge Lavoie, (519) 859-7763 or by e-mail: slavoie@swea.ca

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SOUTHWEST ECONOMIC ALLIANCE (SWEA)

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