Cornwall ON –
Is Cornwall one of Canada’s top or worst entrepreneurial cities? Even though rankings point to Cornwall falling behind in economic development our leaders are not convinced!
I believe Cornwall to be currently in a very similar position to what has been portrayed by several economists and industry leading professionals. Cornwall is currently NOT an easy city to start and operate a business in for various reasons including but not limited to: High Tax Rates, Slow Building Permit Approvals, a lack of ‘Small Business Awareness’ by local government and a stagnant population.
The rate in which new businesses start-up and the expectations of current businesses to hire new full-time employees is very low in comparison to other communities and our economy is the direct cause of such conditions. It is the responsibility of our local government to create a climate to promote business start-up and growth from within our own borders.
We have been creating work and new jobs but the reality of the matter is that so are other communities and we are doing it much slower than almost everyone else! The majority of our new construction is due to the influx of investment from the provincial and federal governments and that spending is now halted. It should be also well noted that the biggest current project under construction “The Cornwall Community Hospital” has requested city staff attend several meetings, regarding the construction phases, of the on-going project and too the amazement of the Contractors no city staff even show up! In no other city would this happen but in Cornwall!
So, how are we perceived by outsiders and do they have any justification of their opinions? Here is some eye opening statistics that will show just how well this current council has done in comparisons to other cities. I am not saying they haven’t worked hard or have not accomplished anything what I am saying is that it is still not good enough and we need to continue getting better!
MoneySense – Canada’s Best Places to Live List
In 2006, Cornwall was ranked 19th out of 108 Canadian Cities.
In 2010, Cornwall was ranked 92nd out of 179 Canadian Cities.
CFIB – Communities in Boom: Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities
In 2010, Cornwall was ranked 100th out of 100 Canadian Cities.
Important Notes: A very small number of businesses were polled for this study (24). But out of those 24 these were the hard facts:
- When rating local government’s sensitivity to local businesses: The percentage of respondents who give a ‘GOOD’ rating to their local government on ‘Awareness of small business’ was 0.0%.
That means not one single business, who responded, in Cornwall believed their local government knows enough about how small businesses are operating in today’s economy!
- When rating future full-time hiring’s: The percentage of respondents who expect to add to full-time employment levels within the next 3-4 months was 2.8%; tied for the lowest percentage.
This means that although we have brought in new jobs we still have not created a climate of growth and our economy is not in such a state that local businesses are planning for growth despite what our current government tells us!
In Summary, our current councilors have worked very hard but they have NOT closed the gap of prosperity between Cornwall and the rest of Ontario and Canada’s cities! We are still viewed as a risky city to invest in and that image will not vary until major changes are made in the way Cornwall DOES BUSINESS!
We need more business oriented individuals on City Council because the city is a business and our business community needs to regain its confidence in our local government. On October 25th, 2010 vote for change and vote as if you were hiring your businesses new management because in essence you are!
Cornwall City Council Candidate
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