Services Related to Economic Development and Attraction
We have been providing economic research, strategy development and implementation assistance to local, provincial, territorial, federal and Indigenous economic development organizations across Canada for nearly 40 years. Through our network of about 150 consultants and associates across Canada, we assist clients in preparing economic development and investment, resident and tourist attraction strategies. We also deliver a range of services to support strategy implementation including brand development, website development and management, social media marketing, business retention and expansion programs, business matchmaking and coaching, performance measurement and reporting, benchmarking, ongoing research and trend analysis, database and dashboard development, funding (grant applications) & reporting, and fractional EDO services.
Structure of Our Economic Development Studies
- Working close with a client lead and a steering committee that oversees the process and participates in the development of the strategy.
- Preparing a detailed work plan, early in the process, that clearly defines the data sources that will be used, the process and analytical tools that will be employed, the intended outputs, and how the client will be engaged. We obtain agreement of that plan before commencing with the field research.
- Detailed review of available profiles, regional and sector studies, and other research, documents, and statistics, building on the extensive economic research that our firm has completed in the past. From past studies, we are already familiar with many of the key opportunities and challenges as well as potential options, solutions, strategies and actions that could be incorporated into the strategy. We are also very familiar with the existing economic development ecosystem in Canada, including various development organizations, funding programs and other sources of assistance. In addition, we have conducted extensive reviews of best practices in economic development.
- Obtaining input from a broad cross-section of stakeholders through key informant interviews, surveys, and industry roundtables. Broad consultation is key to developing an effective strategy, building strong support for that strategy within the industry and other stakeholders, ensuring that local stakeholders take ownership of the Strategy and will be involved in implementation, and demonstrating to potential funders and other partners that there is strong support for the recommended actions.
- Conducting one or more roundtables with a cross-section of representatives from industry, members of the ecosystem, and other key stakeholders. We strongly recommend using the roundtable format rather than a traditional focus group, because roundtables better support the identification of strategic priorities and recommended actions. In comparison to the traditional focus group format, roundtables typically involve a larger number of participants (from 15 to 40) and are longer in length, more structured, and more effective in supporting the development of strategies. Roundtables are most effective when the elements are well-structured, the participants have been well informed about the objectives and the issues in advance, and the sessions focus on validating preliminary findings, further exploring the nature of the needs and issues which have been identified, and reviewing possible priorities, strategies and actions. We prepare and distribute discussion papers to the participants in advance of the sessions.
The objective is to ensure that the roundtables, surveys and interviews are successful in engaging a representative cross-section of stakeholders who can provide a diversity of opinion and depth of experience. We commonly incorporate a survey into the process of inviting industry and other stakeholders to roundtables. The survey serves to both increase participation in the process and further informs the definition of key issues and priorities to be addressed at the roundtable. Our methodology targets a wide range of organizations involved in the innovation ecosystem including industry, industry associations, educators and trainers, research institutions, other members of the innovation ecosystem, economic development representatives, sources of funding, and the public sector.
- Preparing the strategy, which defines the objectives, strategic priorities or pillars, and recommended actions. The strategies also define available and needed resources, assign responsibilities and define performance measures.
- Working with the client and committee in developing and refining the strategy and preparing the final documents.
We have employed these strategies in conducting economic development studies for a wide variety of communities and regions within BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Yukon and the Northwest Territories as well as the Atlantic provinces. In addition, we have conducted development studies focused specifically on a wide range of economic sectors and clusters including:
- Advanced manufacturing
- Agriculture and agri-food
- Apparel and fashion design
- Arts and Culture
- Autobody industry
- Biotechnology (including health, agriculture and forestry biotech)
- Environmental technologies
- Fish and aquaculture products
- Forest products
- Graphic design
- Health informatics
- Health technology
- Industrial design
- Interior design
- Landscape architecture
- Life sciences
- Medical devices
- New media
- Oil & gas
- Sustainable energy (hydrogen, fuel cells, wind energy, and solar power)
- Sound recording
- Tree Fruit
- Wood products
Fields of Expertise
Our services do not stop with the preparation of a strategy. That’s just the beginning. We are there to assist you in implementing all of the key components. Through our staff, network of over 150 associates, and associates firms, we can provide you with a full range of services including:
- Brand development
- Website development and management
- Social media marketing
- Business retention and expansion programs
- Business matchmaking and coaching
- Performance measurement and reporting
- Ongoing research and trend analysis
- Database and dashboard development
- Funding (grant applications) & reporting
- Fractional EDO services
Request a Quote
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If you have an RFP or terms of reference, you can send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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