CORNWALL – While there were “no big wow stories” – as Bob Peters puts it – the year was still progressive for economic development, tourism and entrepreneurship in the Seaway City.
Usually the man behind the scenes for the Year in Review, the senior development officer stepped up to the microphone Wednesday morning to deliver the state-of-the-city-style presentation to a sold-out crowd of 300 at the Galaxy Cinemas.
Peters said the city saw “a lot of great little stories” throughout 2015 which is putting the city on pace to have a year of $55 million in building – very similar to last year.
As for tourism, the region saw $221 million injected into the local economy this year with the 2015 International Plowing Match being a big factor with 85,000 people visiting the area.
New events that “quickly came together,” such as Beerfest, saw attendance around 1,200.
All the events that happened in 2015 are on the schedule for 2016 – some bigger and better – Peters highlighted.
It wasn’t only the businesses but the people that are the fabric of the city and have put Cornwall on the map, including world kickboxing champion Emily Vallance, baseball’s Jenna Flannigan and badminton goal medalist Austin Flannigan at the Ottawa district championship.
“We may have the athletic excellence but we also have the academic excellence,” Peters said while mentioning Samantha Peets and Jeremy Mallette – Canada’s top science students.
As for the commercial and industrial sector, Peters noted a lot of businesses have plans for 2016 for expansions and hirings, such as Olymel in the Cornwall Business Park and Morbern on Boundary Road.
“We expect in 2016 we are going to see positive commercial retail announcements, growth in manufacturing and logistics that will lead to new jobs and those new jobs will attract newcomers to Cornwall, not only from Ontario but from across Canada and beyond.”
Peters believes there will be an “increasing focus” on immigration in 2016 for Cornwall as it looks to grow its economy and population.
“Every one of these good news stories that we’re able to share with the world helps attracts more investment to Cornwall,” Peters said.
The survey will be open until Jan. 15, 2016. Then, public town hall meetings will take place once the preliminary plan is completed.