Council Discusses New Businesses VS Old Businesses

Monday, December 1, Owen Sound’s new council was sworn into office, beginning their 2014-2018 term

The Grey Bruce Business Journal asked the new council,

‘Which issue should this next term’s council give to more focus to:
A) Bringing in new business developments, or B) encouraging small businesses presently in operations?

We are awaiting responses from Councillor Peter Lemon.


Mayor-elect Ian Boddy

Mayor Ian Boddy

‘Owen Sound’s future success depends on growth. We need population growth, job growth and tax assessment growth. This growth will benefit local business who need buyers of their products as well as increase the City tax base. An increased tax base will spread the burden across more tax payers and ease the impact on each of us. The City cannot cut costs much further without eliminating services, nor can we continue to increase taxes. Doing either of these will harm our ability to retain and attract employers and jobs. We must make economic development part of everything we do at city hall.

We need to attract new business development and encourage our present businesses. Job growth comes mostly from established businesses that expand. As an example, we have hundreds of people operating small businesses in the information sector living in our community. They sell their product through a modem and choose to live where they have the best lifestyle, and earn relatively larger incomes. We need to work with all of our industries and help them expand and grow faster. They will provide jobs for our next generation.

At the same time, we also need to attract new residents and employers. Not only do they bring their disposable income to our local market, they also often bring jobs. Boomers tend to be re-treading, instead of retiring. They are consulting, starting new businesses and hiring others to work with them. We have a better lifestyle at a better cost than large Cities, and should be attractive to people migrating out.’ Mayor Ian Boddy


Arlene Wright

Deputy Mayor Arlene Wright

‘I believe that we need to do both, encourage and assist our existing businesses as well as encourage new development.’
Deputy Mayor Arlene Wright


Travis Dodd - Owen Sound Council Candidate

Councillor Travis Dodd

‘I feel economic growth needs to maintain a balance between both new business opportunities, as well as supporting our existing businesses.

Existing businesses need to be recognized for their devotion to the community, through the difficult times they have faced over the years and deserve the proper support to ensure they stay successful.

I also do favor economic plans that can support both new developments as well as promote our current business sector.

We are a region that is well known for its agricultural sector, and we should aim our attention to opportunities that are related to this field. I feel we need to work towards establishing the City of Owen Sound as an agricultural hub, with the help from a corresponding University that would promote our region through a research facility that emphasizes on the agricultural sector. This has the ability to further lead into niche markets for organic products, and culinary and rural tourism that would support existing businesses along with the development of new opportunities.

I feel we should also focus attention on the advancement of broadband services that are required to obtain future developments as well as maintain our existing technological based companies. Technology has become just as vital as roads and sewers when discussing pieces of valuable infrastructure.

I also feel there needs to be a strong focus on the promotion of Georgian College, as satellite campuses, online learning and/or joint programs with universities all would increase youth development in the region, employment and diversify our community.’ Councillor Travis Dodd


Councillor-elect Scott Greig

Councillor Scott Greig

‘Firstly you embrace existing business. They are a customer and it takes far less investment to keep a customer than to gain a new one. The term small business I will apply to all business in Owen Sound but I would like to initiate consultation with key management to have feedback quarterly as to market conditions for their business, what is good and what issues are currently being looked at.

Secondly, we are mandated by our current taxation level to grow our assessment base better than we have been. I will point to empty gas stations on visual lots within Owen Sound as opportunity to further relationships with our neighbouring municipalities and grow our city. We need their support and capabilities while we work with developers to prepare the site for development.’ Councillor Scott Greig


Marion Koepke

Councillor Marion Koepke

‘My focus would be to maintaining business taxes at the current level or, if at all possible, decreasing them so that new businesses could be encouraged to open.’ Councillor Marion Koepke


Jim McManaman - Owen Sound City Council

Councillor Jim McManaman

‘I believe that Councils role is to create the climate which allows businesses, individuals and families to prosper and grow. Council should understand what the resources are that small businesses need to be successful and then work to build networks and platforms to provide those resources in a way that is reliable and affordable.

We have a variety of tools to encourage business growth and investment…the downtown facade improvement program, the vacant lands tax assistance program and our contaminated lands clean-up tax incentive program. The Business Enterprise Centre has also had great success focusing on small business start-up and expansion. These are all are excellent examples of what the City can do to attract and help business.’ Councillor Jim McManaman


Councillor-elect Brian O'Leary

Councillor Brian O’Leary

‘Business taxes are too high but, realistically we should maintain at current levels. The more new business recruited, the better off our taxpayers will be. I would not give up on the chance to hit a home run and convince a major manufacturer to come to Owen Sound either.’ Councillor Brian O’Leary


Richard Thomas - Owen Sound Council Candidate

Councillor Richard Thomas

‘Both. We need to support the people who are already doing business here, but at the same time we need to work at expanding our tax base, and that means seeking out new business to the region.

Business does well when the economy is doing well. Locally, we have been focused on how to manage with shrinking resources when we need to focus on how to increase the number of businesses and people in our region.’ Councillor Richard Thomas


The Grey Bruce Business Journal also asked,
‘First of all, tell us a little about your background and overall platform.’

‘What strategies do you have in mind to stimulate economic growth in the region?’

‘Do you think local business taxes are at a fair rate, or should be lowered or raised? Should there be any changes in the municipal services provided to businesses, (such as garbage removal)?’

‘What do you see has been the largest challenge over the last 10 years, faced by business operators in your region?’



Learn to Network

Business Networking International (BNI) Sound Networking meets Each Wednesday 7:00 – 8:30 AM at Frog Ponds Cafe

Meet local business people and find out how networking is one of the most effective methods for marketing your business.
Visitors are always welcome, just call ahead to let us know you are coming 519-371-2622.

Business Enterprise Centre Workshops

Basics of Bookkeeping (Three part workshop)
Tuesday September 19th and 26th and Tuesday October 3rd, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Business Enterprise Centre Training Room $95 (HST included)
Facilitator: Jane Gallagher
This three part Bookkeeping Workshop will allow you to use the tools and information to confidently understand your financial statements and your own books. Class size is limited to 8 to allow a hands-on, individual learning opportunity for everyone.

Business Enterprise Centre Workshops

How to “Really” Start a Business
Wednesday September 20th, 9:00 am – 11:30 am, Bayshore Community Centre
FREE – Pre-registration is required
Facilitator: Cliff Bilyea
Discover the basic steps involved in starting a business, evaluating your idea, determining your market and basic rules and regulations. Attending the is workshop is mandatory for anyone applying to the Starter Company Plus Program.

Business Enterprise Centre Workshops

Introduction to Quick Books (Two part workshop)
Tuesday October 17th and 24th, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Business Enterprise Centre Training Room, $80 (HST Included)
Instructor: Jane Gallagher
The first session of Quick Books provides participants with an overview and access to a trial version of the program. The second session will be questions and answers to address specific issues. Knowledge of basic bookkeeping principles is required. Limited to 8, you must bring your own laptop. (This workshop does not cover the online version of Quick Books)


Phone: 519 371 7464
Fax: 519 371 4043
Address: 1240 2nd Ave E
Owen Sound, ON N4K 2J3

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