Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) has a mandate to enhance the growth prospects of our existing companies and bring new high-value firms to the community. BEDC’s focus is on growing the economic base to sustain Burlington’s competitive and prosperous community. BEDC is the first point of contact for companies seeking to expand, start-up or locate in Burlington.
In 2018, BEDC’s Board of Directors approved a new 2018-2022 Strategic Plan: Our Vision for Economic Growth; this strategic plan is aligned with the City of Burlington’s 2015-2040 Strategic Plan along with Burlington’s Official Plan “Grow Bold.” To support economic prosperity and “Grow Bold,” BEDC has developed a Strategic Plan to: keep Burlington competitive, attract and grow innovative companies, and develop an attractive 21st century city. Learn more here.
BEDC has a target of adding 1,000 jobs per year to the Burlington economy through helping companies locate, expand and start-up in Burlington. BEDC uses three (3) different sources to calculate its performance in generating jobs in Burlington: EMSI (Statistics Canada), Development Activity (tracking building permits to see how much space is available to accommodate jobs), and the Halton Employment Survey (door-to-door survey of companies). By utilizing a variety of sources, we are able to get the most accurate trendlines. According to the three sources that BEDC uses to track jobs, the following jobs were added to the Burlington economy in 2017:
- ICI Development 1,345 Jobs
- Halton Employment Survey 2,296 Jobs
- EMSI Analyst 2,194 Jobs
Get a full explanation of each of these sources in BEDC Executive Director’s Memo to Council on BEDC Job Calculations available here.
A core focus at BEDC is supporting companies to locate, expand and grow in Burlington and BEDC helps around 300 companies a year through Business Support Requests. A priority at BEDC is helping with site selections for businesses to locate in Burlington and being the liaison between applicants and the resources they need to grow successfully in Burlington. We pay close attention to business support services to ensure everyone feels supported in locating and growing their business in Burlington. All Business Support Requests are logged and tracked in BEDC’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and trends are analyzed quarterly to help align key areas of policy and advocacy for BEDC based on what we are hearing from our customers in the business community.
In addition, BEDC opened TechPlace to support the start-up and growth of companies through providing access to space, programming, mentorship, networking, and resources. In Canada, 40% of jobs come from companies less than five years old and aligns with the City Burlington 2015-2040 Strategic Plan direction 1.1f to support and attract startups and growing business; BEDC is delivering on this mandate through the activities and partnerships associated with TechPlace.
TechPlace was opened after an extensive innovation and entrepreneurship strategy was developed by the BEDC team in 2016; available here, this strategy involved stakeholder engagement, an analysis of Ontario’s current innovation and entrepreneurship landscape and looking at best practices both locally and globally. Since opening in June 2017, TechPlace is a destination for technology, talent and ideation to come together under one roof to create and promote opportunities for economic growth. In year one TechPlace welcomed over 5,000 visitors, hosted over 85 events and accepted 7 LaunchPad companies. Learn more here.
Burlington is reaching the end of the large greenfield employment land development era. We have 316 Ha (71 sites) of greenfield employment land left and these sites are under multiple constraints leading to an insufficient supply of investment ready land to reach our business growth goals.
To ensure Burlington’s continued attraction of business and to accommodate the expansion of existing businesses, BEDC is working to establish a 50 ha supply of development ready land that can be developed in 18-24 months to ensure a supply of land and maintain competitiveness with other cities. Burlington currently has a supply of 27 Net Ha (18 sites) of development lands that can be developed within 18-24 months. Development ready land is defined as a site that:
- Is serviced,
- Has a willing landowner,
- Does not fall under the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO’s) Permit Control Area, or has an MTO approval in concept,
- Is not located in Conservation Halton’s natural heritage layer, and
- Is not located in MNRF’s natural heritage layer.
To activate the last remaining sites, BEDC will work to make employment lands ready for development. BEDC is engaging landowners, regulatory bodies, service providers, and other stakeholders to establish a 50- hectare rolling supply of development ready land that can be developed in 18-24 months. Find out more on BEDC’s development ready land strategy here.
BEDC’s Board of Directors approved our 2018-2022 Strategic Plan: Our Vision for Economic Growth in January 2018. To support the City of Burlington Strategic Plan 2015-2040 and continued economic growth and prosperity, BEDC has developed a Strategic Plan to:
- Keep Burlington competitive,
- Attract and grow innovative companies, and
- Develop an attractive 21st century city
To support these Key Objectives BEDC’s Strategic Plan has 4 Strategic Directions:
- Land Readiness and Intensification
- Business Growth & Entrepreneurship
- A Business Attractive Brand
- A 21st Century Organization
The key deliverables for BEDC’s Strategic Plan are:
- 15,000 new knowledge-based jobs to Burlington by 2040,
- An increase in the City of Burlington’s ICI Assessment Base by $500 million over five years, and
- A strong and diverse regional economy as measured by our economic indicators
To find out about BEDC’s 2018 Key Strategic Objectives and our progress read the August 2018 update to council available here.