Is there a best practice? A better understanding of local economic development in rural Ontario

Andrew Redden


This paper will look at the best practices of municipal-level local economic development (LED) in rural Ontario by examining survey results and interviews of working LED practitioners in Ontario. The research provides formal advice for rural municipalities looking to invest in a local economic development strategy, a subject previously absent from the published literature. The author has identified four essential actions as a starting point to deliver local economic development services in rural Ontario. They are (1) understand communities’ markets and assets; (2) invest in a full-time economic development officer; (3) recognize efforts of existing community organizations; (4) partner with neighbouring municipalities and participate in regional consortiums.

 Keywords: Best practices, strategy, rural local economic development, Ontario

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