Ontario Government Works With Smiths Falls For Regional Economic Development

    $335,000 In Provincial Funding To Help Region Build New Opportunities

    SMITHS FALLS, ON, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - The Ontario government is working with
the Town of Smiths Falls and surrounding municipalities to spur regional
economic development, said Minister of Economic Development and Trade Sandra
Pupatello today.
    "This is a broad-based package that will help Smiths Falls and the
surrounding communities seek out new opportunities," said Pupatello. "We will
continue working with the Mayor and municipal officials to attract new
investment and build a stronger, more diversified economy."
    Provincial funding of $335,000 will support five initiatives designed to
respond to the pending closures of the Hershey chocolate plant and the Rideau
Regional Centre, while supporting the development of a stronger regional
economy. The initiatives are:

    -   Develop a plan for alternative use for the Rideau Regional Centre -
        examining single and multi-user options, with an emphasis on
        leveraging the local and regional skills base;

    -   Assessment of alternative use options for the Hershey plant -
        exploring potential future uses for the site either as a single
        business or a multi-tenant facility;

    -   Investment attraction program - including working with Hershey to
        develop a chocolate retail facility and resources to explore and
        develop further economic development opportunities;

    -   Development of a market analysis and business attraction strategy -
        an action plan setting out growth targets for Smiths Falls'
        commercial, industrial and residential tax base;

    -   Development of a regional economic development strategy - a
        broad-based economic plan encompassing business, retail, tourism and
        residential growth, in addition to workforce development.

    The initiatives announced today are the result of ongoing work between
local municipal officials and an inter-ministerial team led by the Ministry of
Economic Development and Trade.
    "Today's announcement is a step toward meeting the serious economic
challenges faced by our community," said Dennis Staples, Mayor, Town of Smiths
Falls. "The initiatives cover some of our economic development priorities -
getting the clear, expert information we need for medium and long-term
planning, making sure we effectively promote the investment opportunities we
have to offer and to assist with new job creation for our area."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Valérie Poulin, Minister Pupatello's Office,
(416) 325-6907; Neil Trotter, Communications Branch, (416) 325-6716; Chuck
Hudson, Town of Smiths Falls, (613) 283-4124

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Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure

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