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Economic Development Highlights - 2012

The year 2012 marks the first full year of an Economic Development Department within the Municipality of Tweed. Efforts continued to establish the department within municipal structure and determine how we can help sustain and develop the community and its assets. Critical to the establishment of the department was to develop partnerships in regional initiatives, conduct one on one meetings with business owners and our community organizations, create a comprehensive contact list of businesses, organizations and media, and then formulate an Economic Action Plan for 2013-2016, which examines the regional position, public input, and cost effective activities (completed in draft format). In addition below are some highlights from the past year:

  • Funding - helped bring in over $100,000 in funding and still waiting to hear about an additional $50,000.
  • Destination Development - as a member of the Hastings County Destination Development Working Team (HOT Group) we carried out many items identified in the Premier Ranked Report including introducing Tourism Awareness Week, the HOT Spots Contest, the Tourism Trade Show, and a Tourism Dinner and Awards Ceremony. In addition, we created a multi-use recreational trail from Tyendinaga to Tweed, and a Stoco Lake Loop, in support of outdoor recreation; and helped form the Hastings County Wellness Group to support and build Hastings County as a wellness destination. 
  • Visitor Services - increased visitor services through visitor service staff training, signage and information, as well as promoting tourism education and packaging to our community tourism operators. CFDC provided a grant of $7,000 which will be used to make additional improvements to the Jailhouse. The Tweed Heritage Centre continues to receive funding for visitor services; in 2012 a new web page was created and they received an Ovation Designation for customer service excellence.
  • Destination Marketing - the Land O' Lakes distributed 70,000 maps, created a new website, and advertised on TV, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, and online mediums, as well as attended tradeshows. This includes being on Powerboat Television, Fish TV, Cottage Life TV, and the Happy Camper. ComfortCountry distributed 20,000 visitor guides, aired segments on CHEX TV (including 5 shot in Tweed) and created networking and workshop events for tourism businesses in the area. The Ontario Highlands Tourism Organization created a promotional video featuring the Elvis Festival and the Tweed Stampede and Jamboree.
  • Experience Tweed - is a tourism and investment attraction identity designed to stand out amongst regional efforts. The collaborative efforts of the region will draw visitors, retirees, and entrepreneurs to the area and the Municipality of Tweed will be their destination of choice. Our tourism and investment attraction plan has been completed in three stages and we are now ready to fully implement Experience Tweed in 2013.
  • Quality of Place - continued work within the community to enhance the quality of place and showcase why it is a great place to live, work, play, or retire. Some highlights included; increased beautification budget and efforts in the Hamlets and the Village, building of a new school, Village Task Team, the library as a hub for information and presentations, Queensborough's recognition by White Water Ontario, and the First Annual Community Rec and Culture Guide.
  • Promoting Tweed - a focus on collecting community business and organizational information as well any special dates and events. Everything was tracked in an online community calendar, and coming events featured on the website and electronic sign. News releases were created and distributed to media, businesses, and organizational contacts, and local media partners generated a lot of good news stories surrounding the community. Promotion of the community continued in its traditional sense through attending events and paid advertising in publications.
  • An Online Presence - We needed to address concerns that the community's online presence was not adequate. We reviewed the gaps and created and implemented a content management strategy. Thus far we have: added comprehensive profiles of our businesses and organizations including the addition of logos, pictures, descriptions, and external links; created social media accounts; produced blogs and online stories; and added several pages of content to our Municipal Website. Thus far the measurable results are: much better search engine results when trying to find information on Tweed; have generated over 425 followers through social media; and almost doubled our traffic on the Municipal Website. http://www.twp.tweed.on.ca/
  • Successful Festival and Events - part of the identity of the community is the top notch festival and events "There is always something going on in Tweed". This includes everything from our signature festivals (where people came from all over North America) to community BBQ's and gatherings. In addition to funding support we provided help through the Economic Development, the Land O' Lakes, and ComfortCountry, as these events continue to draw a large number of visitors to the area each year. The Tweed Stampede and Jamboree added an additional day to the event and attendance rose by approx. 35% to 9,200 people! In addition to the traditional features the Tweed Fair added Lawnmower Races, Demo-Cross, and Jungle Cat World; and the Elvis Festival showed that it was here to stay as avid fans enjoyed the second annual event.
  • Spring Sale -Over 1,200 people attended the two day event held at the Tweed Community Centre with an estimated $40,000 in spending on a majority of locally owned (some home based) retailers. A very positive response from both the vendors and the shoppers indicated the event should continue on an annual basis.

2013 - we are in the completion stage of a three year Economic Development Action Plan which will outline our focus for the next three years. This plan will prioritize Economic Development activities based on the need, the resources (cost), and leadership within the community and region.

Please contact Joey Walsh at 613-478-2535 or walshj@twp.tweed.on.ca for more information.