Welland recognized as a great place to grow

Welland is Open for Business

Profitguide’s search for places in Canada that were business-friendly with fast-moving development processes and little regulatory regime led them to Welland. It’s a recognition for which the cities staff and economic team can be proud of,  as it is a designation that would not have been possible a decade ago.

For many years, news surrounding industry growth in Welland spoke instead to the decline of the manufacturing industry. But a reinvented and aggressive economic strategy, hinged on marketing the city as an attractive place to do business, has moved Welland into a position for growth on a national investment level.

 

Advantages beyond City Hall

The cities advantages extend well beyond the processes at city hall. As a provincially designated place to grow, business choosing to build in Welland have the ability to receive tax and development charges relief through theNiagara Gateway Economic Zone and Centre Community Improvement Plan. Further incentive programs are offered in strategic locations throughout Welland, including specific industrial parks. Welland’s location, skilled workforce and burgeoning industry opportunities are all additional industry advantages.

Industrial real estate Welland

News of new development and expansion in Welland’s key industries is starting to become a regular occurrence. With businesses including Northern Gold Foods, Bertie and Clinton Mutual Insurance, Atlantic Biodiesel (possible expansion) and Trivium Industries purchasing and developing real estate. Welland’s industrial centres likeEnterprise Industrial Park offer appealing developable land with excellent transportation access and financial incentives.  Click here to view available industrial and commercial real estate within the city. 

 

Source article here: http://gregchew.hs-sites.com/blog/growing-industry-in-niagara-welland-nationally-recongized

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Solar farm to pop up in Downtown Welland

Welland city council has approved installation of a solar farm on the former Atlas Steels property downtown. More to come…

 UPDATE: From Welland Tribune July 26 2015:

The downtown industrial brownfields of the former Atlas Steels plant could be growing a crop of solar panels.

Welland city council gave its support for Mississauga-based RESCo Energy Inc. to construct and operate a ground-mounted solar project on the lands at 400 East Main St.

RESCo is planning a 600-kilowattdirect current, 500-kW alternating current photovoltaic operation.

In correspondence to the city, the company said Welland Hydro has indicated there is capacity in its hydro lines for the solar project, for ahich an application will be made to Ontario’s Feed-In Traffic — or renewable energy procurement — program.

Council’s support came on the same night that it supported a blanket resolution that expires September 2016 endorsing all Welland ground-mounted and rooftop solar projects that would qualify for Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-In Tariff Program.

A similar solar-energy project is planned for the rooftops at Fitch Street Plaza.

An aerial mockup contained in councillors’ agenda package Tuesday indicated the soalr panels would be installed at the north end of the Atlas Steels land, extending south about halfway down Patterson Ave.

There was no discussion about the project in council chambers.

greg.furminger@sunmedia.ca

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Free parking continues downtown

Each year, the City of Welland offers free 2 hour parking in the downtown core during the holidays. This week, the new council sat for the first time and agreed to continue offering free parking downtown into the new year. How long this will last is anyone’s guess, but it is definitely good news for local businesses.

It doesn’t seem much to put a loonie in for an hour of parking, but it does factor into people’s decisions on whether or not they’ll be spending time in a given area.

A report by L. Dennis Burns, CAPP and Matthew Q. Inman called Retail Parking Strategies to Support Downtown Revitalization seems to support this.

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Photo by Greg Furminger, Welland Tribune

Taking a comprehensive approach to downtown retail parking is important because of the significant differences in the downtown environment compared to “the competition” (e.g., suburban malls or big box stores) The suburban malls and big box stores have several obvious parking advantages over downtowns:

  • Plentiful land on which to provide cheap (perceived as free) surface parking
  • Simple, easily understood access characterized by direct lines of sight from the parking lot to the store
  • Generally high levels of service as expressed through short walking distances, generous parking stall widths, etc.
  • Single ownership control of dedicated parking resources
  • Increased ability to control employee parking behaviours through direct management

Many downtowns have, in recent years, seen unparalleled success in their revitalization efforts. It is interesting to note this success has not gone unnoticed by the shopping centre industry…

For a downtown to be successful, and to be considered healthy competition, parking and accessibility must be a priority. On-street parking is the most convenient (an obvious) solution. No one is suggesting a free-for-all, where parking is always free with no time limits attached. In fact, that would have the opposite effect on downtown. A two-hour time limit that is currently in place is par for the course of other downtowns across the country. A reasonable fine for those who park after the limit would still bring in revenue. Varied time limits are also an option – perhaps a few 15-minute spots in front of Civic Square for those paying their water bill or returning a book to the Welland Public Library and another few in front of the banks. The library could do well with 1-hour free parking (there is currently a single 5 minute free parking spot designated to the library with all others being ticketed (not metered) spots), and the remainder staying at two-hour spots.

A great local example of this model being wildly successful is the revitalization and improvements to Downtown Port Colborne. Of course there are other factors at play here, but parking can be considered a large part of why their downtown is so successful. Businesses there are booming and crowds gather. It is a wonderful place to be!

$4.2 M expansion set for Niagara College’s Welland campus

Niagara College’s Welland campus just received a $4.2 M grant from the provincial government for the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre at the Rankin Technology Centre.

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Artist’s rendering of the Niagara College Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre

The expansion will provide local small and medium-sized enterprises with one-stop access to assistance through applied research from its faculty, staff and students including: pre-project market assessment, business services, technology projects, infrastructure and equipment, people and expertise, and post-project go-to-market plans.

It will also offer yet another opportunity for the college’s students to have meaningful hands-on experience in the community. Relationships with local manufacturers are in the works with Kwik-Mix and W.S. Tyler already on board.

More info: http://news.ontario.ca/tcu/en/2014/11/support-for-the-niagara-college-advanced-manufacturing-innovation-centre.html

Full House at Welland’s Save Our Hospital Meeting

The possibility of our hospital closing is not good news. But the gathering of Welland’s residents, and their concern and passion for the good of our city and its residents is.

It was standing room only at last night’s Save Our Hospital meeting in the Welland Civic Square’s Community Room where over 100 people packed the room to discuss the fate of the Welland hospital.

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Natalie Mehra Executive Director of Ontario Health Coalition, Sue Hotte, co-chair of Niagara Health Coalition and Fiona McMurran headed the conversation that lasted almost two hours.

A call is being put out to join 10,000 people from across Ontario that are heading to Queen’s Park on November 21 to rally against the proposed closure. Fort Erie and Port Colborne recently lost their emergency departments, but were also slated to close completely. After a rally of 4000 people, those hospitals were left open.

How can you help?

From Welland Tribune:

Hotte said the local coalition is organizing buses to bring south Niagara residents to Queen’s Park for the rally, and she asked people to call her at 905-932-1646 if they’re interested in taking advantage of the free ride to the rally, or being part of a committee they’re planning to set up and run a very visible and vocal campaign that could include yard signs and billboards.

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Full story, more info:

Welland Tribune article by Allen Benner: http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2014/11/07/get-involved-or-say-goodbye-to-your-hospital

Allen Benner’s column: http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2014/11/07/benner-get-involved-or-say-goodbye-to-your-hospital