Weekly Activity Reports - September 2017

September 29, 2017

September 22, 2017

September 15, 2017

  • The SSMEDC compiled 2017 mid-year results for its Enterprise Services programs. Between January and July, staff delivered 536 consultations and helped 45 small businesses in their startup and expansion. A total of 19 firms were supported through Starter Company, which provides training and access to funds to help people start and grow small businesses. Another 17 firms opened through the Summer Company student entrepreneur program. As well, nine business clients were supported by the incubator at the SSMEDC's Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship. For more info, including a list of 2017 small business clients, visit https://lnkd.in/ehkStMh. The SSMEDC also delivers a Business Retention & Expansion Program that helps large firms in their growth, along with Invest Sault Ste. Marie, which aims to attract external companies and investment.
  • To highlight the community's competitive advantages, the SSSMEDC created a promotional brochure last year titled Why Sault Ste. Marie? The campaign won a 2017 Marketing Canada Award this week from the Economic Developers Association of Canada in the Single Publication category. Why Sault Ste. Marie? was designed locally by Cavera Inc., with direction and vision from the SSMEDC. To view the publication, visit https://lnkd.in/erUBKCr. The goal of the brochure is to demonstrate to companies and investors that the city is a manufacturing hub with human resources expertise, a strategic location and excellent quality of life. Simply put, it shows that the Sault is a great place to live, learn, work and play. This marketing campaign is part of the SSMEDC's Invest Sault Ste. Marie program, which is funded by all levels of government.
  • On Tuesday, September 19, Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium is offering a training workshop to local businesses. The SSMEDC, which works to assist companies in their startup and expansion projects, is helping to facilitate and market the forum. To register, or to learn more, visit www.emccanada.org/calendar then click the Sault Ste. Marie event on September 19. During the session, Christopher Sinal, from the law firm Siskinds LLP, will present and lead a group discussion for manufacturers regarding legal due diligence. Employment law and labour relations matters will also be discussed. The SSMEDC is a longtime partner of Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium. Over the past few years, the two organizations have worked together to deliver a number of business training and education sessions designed to support companies.
  • Five finalists have been selected for a Pitch Competition being delivered by the team at the SSMEDC's Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship. They are: Black Fox Fishing, Meatless Meals With Megan, Ontario Wild, Scott Coffee Co., and The Queen's Tarts. Each has a pitch video posted at www.facebook.com/MillworksEntrepreneurCentre. They will be ranked on public voting. After watching the videos, citizens can choose their favourite at www.surveymonkey.com/r/2GC5FJH. The deadline to vote is September 22. Public voting will make up 50% of the scoring, and 50% is based on the contestants' comprehensive business plans, which are being judged by an expert panel. Based on the results, two finalists will be selected, and they will battle in a pitch-off for the $15,000-valued grand prize at the SSMEDC's Bridges to Better Business event on October 19.

September 8, 2017

  • Chalk up another success for the SSMEDC's business incubator. Dan Percy owns Diverse Computing, a Florida-based criminal justice software agency that has worked with a number of prestigious clients over the years, including the U.S. Secret Service, Microsoft and Washington D.C. Police Department. He's currently in the Sault visiting family and, as a dual citizen, was seeking a suitable place to operate his firm while here for a few weeks. The SSMEDC had the perfect location. Diverse Computing now has a private workspace at the Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship. While most incubator clients are new startups that use the facility for extended periods, there's also space for shorter-term clients. Supporting businesses and entrepreneurs at the Millworks is one way the SSMEDC works to build and bolster the Sault's "Open for Business" reputation.
  • How in the name of visitor spending do you promote the community to strategic tourism markets around the world? One way is to bring in travel writers and television shows. Hosting these familiarization (FAM) tours is a key marketing strategy for Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. Last week, for example, the organization facilitated a visit with folks from Japan JB-TV. The network airs a travel show, and producers were here to shoot an episode on Sault Ste. Marie. It features a number of segments, including a float plane ride along the shore of Lake Superior, the Agawa Canyon Tour Train and fishing in the St. Mary's River rapids. The FAM tour was organized and facilitated by Tourism Sault Ste. Marie staffer Lindsey Ackland. This promotional opportunity was made possible with support from the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation.
  • The 2017-18 edition of the Sault Business Directory was published last week. This initiative is the result of a longstanding partnership between the SSMEDC and local Chamber of Commerce. Every year, the SSMEDC's summer students contact virtually every company in town to update information on things like service offerings and staffing levels. The end result is a detailed list of all the firms in the Sault, making the Directory a solid economic development tool. While using the publication to promote local companies, the Directory also allows the SSMEDC to market its programs and services. The organization has several articles featured in the report, including "What Can the SSMEDC do to Help Your Business?" To view the digital version of the Directory, visit www.sault-canada.com/en/aboutus/resources/2017-18-Chamber-Directory.pdf.
  • In July 2017, the SSMEDC established a corporate LinkedIn page. Go to www.linkedin.com/company/1416209/ to view the site. Over the past two months, 50 news updates have been posted to the page. These communications pieces garnered nearly 30,000 views so far. The SSMEDC's LinkedIn page features news items on its activity, results, clients, programs and services. Also of note, the organization established a corporate Facebook page in September 2016. Since then, 430 posts from the page have garnered more than 290,000 views and over 11,500 engagements, which include readers who like a post, comment or click a link. Meanwhile, the @SaultEDC Twitter site has posted more than 3,500 tweets and now has 2,300 followers.  Simply put, social media has become - and will continue to be - one of the SSMEDC's main corporate communications tools.

September 1, 2017

  • We have news, and it's amazing! Earlier this year, The Amazing Race Canada filmed an episode in Sault Ste. Marie. Set to air next week on CTV, it will be the second-last episode of the current season. This opportunity was generated by Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, whose staff met with - and pitched the Sault to - the show's producers at a 2016 media marketplace event. During the filming of the local episode, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie also helped facilitate the production, along with the sites and scenery used in the shoot. To celebrate the local episode of The Amazing Race Canada, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie is hosting a free community party on Tuesday, September 5 at the Machine Shop. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the episode will be screened at 8 p.m. To learn more, visit the Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/1293660114095471/.
  • The SSMEDC's Nevin Buconjic was recognized last week by Startup Canada as a regional winner of its Entrepreneur Promotion Award. As the founder of Startup Sault, he received the honour for advancing the environment and culture for entrepreneurship. After hundreds of nominations poured in from across the country, he was one of more than 55 regional award winners who are now vying for Startup Canada's 2017 National Awards in October. At the SSMEDC, Nevin is Manager of Trade, Investment & Community Marketing. He's responsible for delivering Invest Sault Ste. Marie, a targeted investment attraction and marketing program designed to attract external companies and investment. Meanwhile, Startup Sault is a grass-roots organization that connects entrepreneurs with small business resources. The SSMEDC is one of its main partners.
  • Pearl Mist docked at the Roberta Bondar Marina this week. The cruise ship carries 210 passengers and 70 crew. Starting its voyage in Chicago, the luxury liner was on a Great Lakes cruise, with stops including Mackinac Island, Toronto and Detroit. This summer, Pearl Mist and another vessel, M/V Victory 1, are making 26 stops in the Sault. In total, the ships will bring around 5,000 visitors to the city. Tourism Sault Ste. Marie works with cruise operators to develop land itineraries for the passengers. When here, they tend to visit downtown attractions. The 2017 cruise ship season is the busiest ever for the Sault. Part of the reason is that Ian McMillan, Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, is former Chair of Cruise Ontario and a current Board member of the Great Lakes Cruise Coalition. The organizations work to attract and grow cruise ship traffic in the region.
  • The SSMEDC published the July/August 2017 edition of its bimonthly newsletter yesterday. To read it, visit http://conta.cc/2wMgMuV. The Pulse is sent to more than 1,500 recipients and has an above-average "open" rate of 45%, along with an above-average "click" rate of 19%. It features stories on SSMEDC clients, services and community economic development projects. The Pulse has been published for nearly nine years. The goal of the digital newsletter is to keep citizens and partners informed of SSMEDC activity and results generated for the community. It's also designed to promote the organization's programs to current and aspiring entrepreneurs. To view the SSMEDC's complete newsletter archive, which dates back to October 2008, visit www.sault-canada.com/en/aboutus/newsletter.asp.