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aerial view of bridge, buildings and forest surrounding a river

Q1 – Jan – March 2023

PKED Strategic Plan Progress Report Q1 2023

Growing the Local Economy

Often, growing the economy is only envisioned as large-scale factories located on the outskirts, on sprawling campus-style sites, employing hundreds of employees, and producing goods consumed worldwide. 

But does it always have to look like that to have strong economic growth in a community?

A recent event hosted by the City of Peterborough’s Infrastructure and Planning division provided a glimpse into the value of higher-density neighbourhoods, both residential and employment.  The dialogue featured case studies from several communities across North America, educating attendees on understanding the true value of good design. Following the presentation was a panel discussion to pursue how communities can utilize local data to gain a powerful understanding of their fiscal health and be able to plan for a long-term healthy economic future.  PKED was pleased to participate in the panel discussion.

This event emphasized the value a well-planned, activated downtown brings to a community.  It highlighted the need to look at residential and employment land development differently and recalculate how one measures success for future growth.  It goes one step further than theory and backs it up with data, revenue, and expenses for all properties throughout the community. It identifies which communities produce revenue for a municipality and which operate at a loss. 

It was important to note that downtowns are the fiscal worker bees of the community, consistently drawing in more municipal revenues and requiring the fewest expenses. 

PKED has always valued downtowns and main street; they are the heartbeat and soul of a community.  Downtown is where entrepreneurs can launch their independent businesses; it is where people meet up with friends for dinner and entertainment.  Downtowns are the only municipal area that truly allows residents to live, work and play. 

Downtowns have certainly faced stiff competition, from power centre shopping mall developments to urban sprawl to the most recent Covid-19 impacts.  The sudden withdrawal of office workers that used to inhabit downtown during the work week has been a formidable challenge to attracting downtown development.  However, it also offers an incredible opportunity to strengthen the downtown and make it healthier, more activated, and more resilient. 

Instead of depending on a few major employers and government offices to sustain the small businesses and downtown merchants, the City of Peterborough and its partners can take this opportunity to redefine and re-invest in its downtown core.  Inviting more residential development, allowing more small-scale employment development opportunities, and creating more policies and programs that support this direction, may mean all the difference to economic growth, vitality, and prosperity for the downtown for sure, but for the whole of Peterborough and its residents.

Rhonda Keenan headshot

Rhonda Keenan,
President & CEO

Jan – March 2023

Economic Development Dashboard

Businesses started
Businesses supported
Visitors served
Investment Inquiries
Active job postings

Jan – March 2023

What has PKED been up to lately?

Local Outreach and Collaborations in the First Quarter

  • Attended and connected tourism-based businesses with the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism (GMIST) for experiential development training opportunities  
  • Ontario by Bike – Cycle Tourism Summit 
  • Economic Developers Council of Ontario – Conference and Showcase   
  • Peterborough & Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce Power Hour Event 2023 
  • Cub’s Lair Entrepreneurship Event: Judge  
  • Hosted Starter Company Plus Showcase Event 
  • Women’s Business Network; PKED staff participated as a guest speaker on “Customer Personas and Your Small Business” 
  • EDO Round Table – County of Peterborough Infrastructure Overview 
  • Marketing meeting with Selwyn Township staff – collaboration & synergy opportunities 
  • Marketing meeting with Peterborough Airport team – airport profile discussion 
  • OMAFRA Community Economic Development 101- Training Session