According to a survey which ranks North American Cities for new business investment, Guelph was ranked number five within the category of small cities having positive economic potential and is the only Canadian city within the top 10. It also ranks number 10 in the category of business friendliness.
Read more here.
A theme that weaves throughout the City’s Corporate Strategic Plan is doing business differently. In my State of the City address in 2011, I remarked that it’s not always easy or comfortable to talk about how local government can do business differently. In fact, it can be politically risky.
Just a month after I gave that address, we saw a perfect example of how true that is, when a draft consultant’s report about the City’s development approval practices made headlines. The report contained some frank feedback.
It’s important to remember that this report was commissioned by the City in the first place. If we’re serious about doing business differently, these are exactly the types of risks we need to take. Having bold and respectful conversations in an open forum is part of the transformation we are seeking. The larger risk to our community is to do nothing.
Several departments have been collaborating to bring changes to our business approvals process while respecting the principles of exceptional city building. They have engaged the business sector in developing the action plans. They have been making changes over the last year and will soon bring forward key performance indicators that will be used by Council to monitor the ongoing performance of our approvals process.
Rankings like this are important to attracting jobs, investment and talent to our community. The criteria used helps us understand what is important to business.
However, word of mouth is even more important and it will be the real life experience of people who do business with us that matter the most. And on that front, we continue to receive good news.