MAPLETON – Mapleton council has offered its support for the Northern Wellington Economic Development Enhanced Partnership.
Mapleton representative Aly Cripps made a presentation to council on Jan. 28.
A partnership between Mapleton, Minto and Wellington North isn’t necessarily a new idea; the three municipalities have been meeting since 2012 to discuss economic development.
As a result of the county-wide service review by KPMG, a joint economic development partnership was identified as one way to find efficiencies.
“It’s no secret that Minto does a fabulous job, (Minto economic development manager) Belinda (Wick-Graham) and her team,” said Mapleton CAO Manny Baron.
“And we kind of want to leverage that and leverage your expertise and learn from you and see how we can do better.”
The partnership will address five main projects in 2020:
– a cross-sector business retention and expansion program;
– the recruit of a municipal youth engagement coordinator;
– a focus on newcomer attraction and housing programs;
– the expansion of LaunchIt Minto services to Mapleton and Wellington North; and
– targeted marketing and promotion activities.
Minto will also be helping Mapleton with a communications and social media strategy.
“A very big deal for Mapleton in this partnership was trying to get our social media and communications skills up,” Cripps said.
All other economic development projects will be the responsibility of the individual municipalities.
In Mapleton the enhancements have already been added to the economic development budget.
“So there will be nothing going over our budget with any of these programs,” Cripps said.
Mapleton councillor Marlene Ottens was supportive of the idea.
“I think it’s great,” she said. “I think it’s something that we’re all going to benefit from.”
However, she did ask how many of the new businesses helped by LaunchIt Minto have survived.
Wick-Graham pointed out that LaunchIt isn’t just for new start-ups but for any business in any sector.
“People have started in there and moved out onto the main street and they’re still there, but we also help businesses that have been around forever, just helping them grow,” she said.
LaunchIt will bring training programs to Mapleton and Wellington North so “that the travel barrier is taken away,” Wick-Graham said.
Council passed a resolution in support of the initiative.
Wellington North has also received a presentation on the partnership. All three councils will be presented with a memorandum of understanding which, if approved, will put the agreement into effect.
“I want to thank everybody for being a part of [discussions] and I think what we have here is a really good product and I’m excited to see what comes out of it,” Baron said.