At the September 5 meeting of Rideau Lakes Council, an Economic Development Action Plan was adopted for the current four-year term. In renewing the plan, the Economic Development Committee redefined the vision for the economic future of Rideau Lakes and identified five key priorities needed toward realizing this vision.
As part of a priority-setting exercise that included new members appointed to the Economic Development Committee in 2023, the following five areas of focus were established for investment: (1) Investment Attraction; (2) Physical Infrastructure; (3) Community Revitalization, (4) Focused Sector Development; (5) Business & Workforce Development
With the significant progress made since the Township’s first-ever Action Plan in 2020, it was time to renew the document in consideration of additional resources, updated plans and Council Priorities. Some ongoing programs will see continued advancement, including the Rideau Lakes Business Recognition Program, the Community Improvement Plan for Villages, and the Digital Content Strategy.
On June 5, 2023, members of the Committee discussed their picture of success for the community. The resulting vision statement is intended to guide strategic decisions in keeping with the five priorities: “Rideau Lakes is a world heritage destination that fosters the development of a community-minded and innovative business community that contributes to the economic growth and well-being of residents and visitors, continues to value the tranquility of rural life, and celebrates its historic villages and hamlets.”
The ultimate goal is positive growth for the benefit of the community. The new mission statement highlights the path towards achieving that goal: “Rideau Lakes invests in quality of life for our community by cultivating business growth, attracting new business, building on physical infrastructure, community revitalization, agriculture and tourism development.”
Rideau Lakes has a number of strengths to attract and retain residents, businesses, tourists and investors. The Township aims to build on its current assets and implement activities that align with strategic goals through local initiatives, partnerships, and regional opportunities to grow economic activity.
The Rideau Lakes Economic Development Committee began as an ad hoc Committee in 2016, which became a permanent Committee of Council in 2017. Once the committee was established, they embarked on the Business Retention + Expansion Project (BR+E) as a partnership project between the Township of Rideau Lakes and the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville. The BR+E process involved extensive interviews with local businesses to understand and document priorities and opportunities of the business community. Completed in 2019, the results of this research guided the development of the first Economic Development Action Plan for Rideau Lakes, outlining the investments and programs that are still in place today.
Comprised of the Mayor, 4 Councillors, and 2 at-large members of the community, the current mandate of the Rideau Lakes Economic Development Committee is to:
- Generate a better understanding of the economic needs and opportunities in the Township of Rideau Lakes;
- Provide advice and recommendations to Council on matters of economic development;
- Work in a distinct and/or complementary role with other economic development and business sector organizations; and
- Implement a program of work within the approved resource allocation.
The new Economic Development Action Plan 2023-2026 identifies economic strategies and action items, aligns with the Official Plan, builds on the work of the previous Economic Development Action Plan and will be a useful communication tool to convey the Township’s economic activities with residents, businesses, partners and stakeholders.
View the document at https://www.rideaulakes.ca/town-hall/resources/strategic-plans-reports-statistics