When Wendy Gibson retired from her position as Manager of Economic Development in the spring of 2019, she was not replaced. Soon after, the Economic Development Advisory Committee was dissolved and it was thought that the County’s efforts would be enough. But in October 2022, our (relatively) new CAO Tracey Vaughan hired Daniel Van Kampen as a Manager of Economic Development and he has been quite active; at the next Committee of the Whole (CoW) Council meeting he will present his first Annual report. His office is in Venture 13 space and he works closely with them but he reports to Director of Planning, Anne Taylor-Scott. This will be the first opportunity taxpayers have had to see what he is working on.
The report is formatted in a “simplebooklet” – that’s an online presentation that works like a book – you click to see the next page – 24 of them. Although supposedly online at “Invest in Cobourg” – a page on the Town’s web site – no surprise, it’s nowhere to be found (at time of publishing – Update: but it was fixed on May 8). However, with some high tech sleuthing I found it and it’s available in resources below.
It’s long, so I have extracted some highlights.
What does Economic Development Do?
- It’s “focused on addressing the creation of more local jobs in our industrial and downtown commercial areas”. Activities include marketing, attending trade shows, and liaison with industry associations.
- Coordinates efforts with the County – the Town is responsible primarily for business retention and expansion and the County is responsible primarily for “inbound investment attraction and agri-food sector growth”.
The Venture13 Innovation and Entrepreneurship centre provides support to the local business community, including programs focused on entrepreneurial development and skills training, pitch competitions for entrepreneurial start-ups, community discussion panels, mentoring and coaching and technical and entrepreneurial programs focused on youth.
Daniel and his team.
|Daniel van Kampen||Manager of Economic Development||[email protected]
905 372-5481 x 2302
|Melissa Graham||Economic Development Coordinator||[email protected]
905 372-5481 x 2303
|Ryan Warner||Program & Operations Coordinator||[email protected]
289 677-5490 x 2102
|Lauren Brouwers||Program & Operations Assistant||[email protected]
289 677-6490 x 2103
- Police Tech Accelerator – Jointly with Police and Northumberland CFDC promote youth entrepreneurs with ideas to help improve policing.
- Help promote startup entrepreneurs – 6 listed
Economic Development team members are involved in enabling non-residential development when a business expresses an interest in expanding into Cobourg.
Five Planned additions – 4 are pending land sales.
- 560 Thompson Street – Davey Tree – Tools and Equipment Warehouse
- 555 Dodge Street – Coba Steel – Rebar production – 20-30 employees
- 156 Willmott Street – Brock Street Holdings – Craft Brewer and Cocktail beverages, packaging and canning – eventually 75 jobs
- 585 Dodge Street – Cardinal Industrial Solutions
- 565 Dodge – CVK Chemicals – Iron Products
Northam Industrial Park
Subdivide 15.3 acres into 6 lots – between Kerr Street and Railway line
Marketing and Promotion
- Partner with NMA (Northumberland Manufacturers’ Association) on a workshop
- Social Media Posts (8 examples)
- Partner with Realtors on an event
- Two Venture 13 Youth events
- DBIA – supports meetings and helps with grand openings
- Northumberland CFDC who provide Federal Funding to small and medium businesses
- Northumberland County Economic Development and Tourism
- Northumberland Manufacturer’s Association
- Northumberland Central Chamber of Commerce
- Ontario East Economic Development Commission
- Northumberland Small Business Working Group
- Economic Development Council of Ontario
Supported small business – 14 Official Businesses retained or opened in 2022
Priorities for 2023
- New 5 year Economic Development Strategy
Key Business Challenges
- Limited industrial and commercial space and land (more in next 2 paragraphs)
- Labour shortages
- Engage with existing businesses in a structured and routine basis
- Engage in Ontario East Economic Development Commissions investment attraction initiatives and service their investment leads
- Update marketing materials
Industrial Areas – There are few locations available. Currently undeveloped land includes two municipally owned lots in Lucas Point – 10 acres and 25 acres. Also DePalma Lands, 190 Normar Road, Danforth Road, Kerr Street East Extension and Workman Road. Also some in Northam Industrial park.
Commercial Areas. Downtown Cobourg has seen the lowest available commercial space in the past 10 years, with only a few available units left. However, Cobourg has seen new commercial developments on Elgin Street West, Strathy Road/DePalma Drive and Division Street North.
% of total
2011 to 2020
|2020 Tax Revenue
% of Total
|Tax Revenue Growth
2011 to 2020
It’s refreshing to see this degree of detail and transparency. It was no doubt mandated by Director Anne Taylor-Scott since in February she produced a report on her department – including a shorter summary of her Economic Development department.
Be sure to use the links below to access Daniel’s report with a lot more detail (24 pages).
Economic Development – 2022 Annual Report
- Simple booklet URL – View online
- OR, URL to Simple booklet for Economic Development Report – Provides link to “Install” on your desktop (optional) or view online.
Earlier reports on Cobourg News Blog
- New Annual Report by Planning Division – 18 February 2023
- Service Levels Review – Final Report – 16 November 2020