Chamber Breakfast Address

Chamber Breakfast Address

On Wednesday October 6th, Steve addressed the King Chamber of Commerce members at Cardinal Golf Club. His speech was as follows:

Good morning and thank you for this opportunity, I’m honoured and pleased to address you regarding business community development in King Township.

In particular, I have been asked to provide my blueprint for my promise to implement an Economic Development Strategy that will focus on assisting our existing business and attracting new ones. As many of you will know, there are fewer businesses in King today than 4 years ago;

This is NOT sustainability.

Economic Development can be explained as… C.A.R.E. for business… Create, Attract, Retain and Enhance.

The same rules apply to businesses as to customers; it is easier and cheaper to keep those you have than attract new.

That being the case, you would think that there would be a Business Retention Strategy here in King, however there isn’t.

I can and I will open the dialogue between the Township and Business and create relationships that will assist in streamlining processes, expansions, and create synergies between institutions such as Seneca and U of  T.

It’s about partnerships. I will also work to provide a visible location from which the Chamber and our Tourism initiative can operate.

York Region is a member of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance; we need to be at the table and must be known. Exposure and awareness is the key!

Within our own province… regions and municipalities are committing dollars to promote and attract investment into their communities.

King Township has to get into that arena and start competing for new economic investment and tourism.

It’s hard work, and it’s ongoing. It needs the support of the Mayor and the commitment of resources necessary in fighting for our existing businesses and new economic development dollars for King.

And make no mistake; it is a fight – one that our current Mayor has avoided!

Let me ask you what you think King Township is known for? I suggest it’s two things – the highest taxes in Ontario, and home to some of the largest horse farms.

Is this the brand we want?  You all know the importance of ‘branding’; the image that instantly comes to mind when a name is heard or read.  And it is true, if you don’t take the steps to create your own brand, by default, others will give you one!  Of course we love our horse farms; but that isn’t a brand.

We have to start selling King and its proximity to the GTA as a positive, and attract people and businesses with dollars to invest.

Let’s start with tourists.  I opened a glossy magazine newspaper insert this summer that listed all the places to go close to the GTA for day trips.  King wasn’t even mentioned!!  If people don’t even come to visit, how can they start to think about locating here?

As Mayor, economic development will be one of my highest priorities because only through new investment can we begin to significantly alter the current tax base in our Township and then be on the path to fiscal sustainability.

I strongly believe that promoting King’s desirability will result in a brand that resonates with both business and residents – a brand that we all can buy into: a brand that captures the essence of King Township, and what King offers York Region, the GTA, and the world.

I will engage in the search for that brand – and aggressively join the competition for both domestic and international investment opportunities that will benefit King.

Thank you!