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Economic Development - Quarter 4 Financial Update (2016)

The Economic Development supports the Niagara Region and business communities to compete successfully in Niagara, Ontario and on a global scale. To work in partnership with the region's 12 municipalities, post-secondary institutions, business community and associates and nonprofit organizations to provide effective, innovative services that encourage investment, in the region, along with business support services to attract, maintain and increase jobs in Niagara. The department supports the retention, growth, increased entrepreneurship, and expanding innovation of existing companies and encourages new companies to relocate to Niagara.

  Year to Date (in thousands of dollars)
Budget Actual Budget vs Actual Variance
Favourable/(Unfavourable)
Expenses
Compensation   $761 $735 $25 3.5%
Administrative   1,272 859 413 48.1%
Operational & Supply   - 2 (2) (100.0%)
Occupancy & Infrastructure   - 12 (12) (100.0%)
Equipment, Vehicles, Technology   - 20 (20) (100.0%)
Partnership, Rebate, Exemption   835 1,089 (254) (23.3%)
Financial Expenditures   - 1 (1) (100.0%)
Total Expenses   2,868 2,718 150 5.5%
Revenues
Federal & Provincial Grants   (43) (33) (10) 30.3%
Other Revenue   (14) (14) (0) 2.9%
Total Revenues   (57) (47) (10) 22.1%
Intercompany Charges
Intercompany Charges   4 (92) 96 (104.3%)
Total Intercompany Charges   4 (92) 96 (104.3%)
Net Expenditure (Revenue) Before Transfers & Indirect Allocations   2,815 2,579 236 9.1%
Transfers
Transfers from Funds   (211) (211) - 0.0%
Transfers to Funds   - 95 (95) (100.0%)
Total Transfers   (211) (115) (95) 82.9%
Indirect Allocations & Debt
Indirect Allocations   601 544 57 10.4%
Capital Financing Allocation   144 125 19 15.5%
Total Indirect Allocations & Debt   745 669 76 11.4%
Net Expenditure (Revenue) After Transfers & Indirect Allocation   $3,349 $3,133 $216 6.9%

Variance Analysis (in thousands of dollars)

Economic Development operated at a surplus after indirect allocations of $216. The following factors contributed to this surplus:

Administrative

The favourable variance of $413 is primarily due to a departmental spending review by the new Director who began in April; as well as the timing of consulting expenditures related to the communications audit strategy and tactics for the foreign trade zone and market research & housing strategy proposal. The unspent consulting budget was committed and is included in the 2016 encumbrances reported in Transfers to Funds.

Equipment, Vehicles, Technology

The unfavourable variance of $20 is the result of an unbudgeted purchase of a Geographic Information System software license used for site selection.

Partnership, Rebate, Exemption

The unfavourable variance of $254 is a result of a portion of the 2015 grant payments for Brock University BioLinc and Niagara College for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation being paid in 2016 and the reprioritization of the favourable variance in Administrative. A portion of the 2016 commitments to Brock University BioLinc and Niagara College and are included in the 2016 encumbrances reported in Transfers to Funds

Intercompany Charges

The favourable variance of $96 is primarily the result of a transfer of expenditures to Community Services for studies and research completed for Social Assistance & Employment Opportunities related to cost of living, market research and housing strategies, and competitiveness studies.

Transfer to Funds

The unfavourable variance of $95 relates to the 2016 encumbrances.

Community Impacts & Achievements

2016 Project Updates/Accomplishments

  • Government of Canada designated the Niagara Region as a Foreign Trade Zone (April 2016)
  • City of Welland was selected by General Electric as the site for their new 468,000 square foot Brilliant Factory.
  • Contracts with Innovate Niagara, BioLinc (Brock) and Niagara College were renewed resulting in the creation of 66 new jobs, 20 high-growth firms assisted, four new products and 25 prototypes/problems solved.
  • Ten Niagara Gateway Economic Zone Community Improvement Plan applications have been approved to date supporting the creation and retention of 498 jobs and $23.4 million in new development.
  • Working with real estate brokers from outside the Niagara region to promote the relocation of commercial industrial businesses to Niagara. Planning and administration is underway with the Society of Industrial Office Realtors and Greater Toronto Hamilton Area brokers for the Industrial-Commercial Brokers market tour initiative (Sept 2016).
  • Canada Summer Games project has been shortlisted for a final bid submission in January 2017.
  • Niagara Region was confirmed to be the host of the 2017 Economic Developers Association of Canada Conference.

Regional Studies/Analysis and Advocacy Projects:

  • Competitiveness Study (completed)
  • Hannover Messe Trade Fair, Germany (April 2016)
  • Hamilton-Niagara Partnership Projects, including Manufacturing Asset Mapping Program (throughout 2016)
  • Canadian Embassy, Consular and Trade Commissioner Outreach - Berlin, Munich & Dusseldorf, Germany and London, U.K. (May and October 2016 )
  • Global Petroleum Show, Calgary (June 2016) and APMA Participation & Events (throughout 2016)
  • TEAM Niagara Southern Automotive Conference Trade Booth, Biloxi, Mississippi (October 2016)
  • International Manufacturing Technology Show Chicago (September 2016)
  • IZB International Suppliers Fair, Ontario Booth w/ TEAM Niagara, Wolfsburg, Germany (October 2016)
  • Regional Industrial Use Development Charge Grant Program application review and approvals process (ongoing)
  • Tourism Strategy Business Case (Study/Outreach) (completed)
  • Electricity Cost Analysis (completed)
  • Comprehensive Cost of Living Study (underway)
  • Re-vamp/Optimization of Niagara Site Finder site selection support tool (underway)
  • Council Strategic Priority Project - Expedited Process for Development (ongoing)
  • Agri-Food Strategy (ongoing)
  • Presence of at least one foreign financial institution - Bank of China (ongoing)
  • Tourism Summit (December 2016)
  • Welland Canal 2018 study (ongoing)
  • Czech Delegation Event (June 2016)
  • The Americas Competitiveness Exchange (September 2016)
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