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New economic development strategic plan underway in Innisfil

Focus groups, both in-person and virtually, are planned as part of the process
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The Town of Innisfil is embarking on the development of a new three-year Economic Development Strategic Plan to guide the future direction of economic development programming, services and priorities.

“Innisfil’s local business community looks very different than it did prior to the pandemic, which presented both challenges to local entrepreneurs and opportunities for businesses to evolve,” says Mayor Lynn Dollin. “With a significant change in Council composition, new leadership of our economic development portfolio and a changing economic landscape, it’s an ideal time to envision the bigger picture and set a strategic direction forward.”

Development of the Economic Development Strategic Plan was initiated in January 2023 through the creation of a project framework, compilation of a comprehensive stakeholder list, and the collection of applicable background information to better understand the Town’s current economic climate. While the project will be led by, and managed through, the Town’s Economic Development team, a consultant will be retained to support specialized components of the plan’s development in areas such as data analytics, stakeholder engagement, and formulation of the resulting action plan.

“Robust engagement of the community is critical to the success of this strategic plan,” says Laura Thompson, manager of economic development. “Our team is developing a comprehensive stakeholder engagement plan to ensure we’re able to hear from a diverse complement of entrepreneurs, business leaders and emerging professionals across a range of industries. This plan should reflect the needs and direction of the entire community and be supported by the regional economic ecosystem to ensure we’re able to make a meaningful impact.”

A new Economic Development website was also launched this week here  which focusses on making information related to investments and development easily accessible. The website will continue to be enhanced as data is collected and analyzed through the Strategic Plan process.

Moving forward, the Town anticipates holding engagement opportunities this spring through a variety of formats including in-person and virtual focus groups, as well as online surveys. Goals and recommendations will be developed over the summer and it’s anticipated that a detailed action plan will be developed in the fall. The final plan is expected to be presented to Council by the end of the year.

“Our goal is to develop a strategic plan that identifies key growth sectors, investment attraction opportunities, and policy and service improvements to support Innisfil’s existing business leaders, entrepreneurs and emerging professionals,” says Thompson.

To learn more about the Economic Development Strategic Plan and sign up for updates, click here.