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MARKSTAY-WARREN STRATEGIC PLAN – COMMUNITY SURVEY
We want YOUR opinions
Markstay-Warren needs a proactive strategic plan to guide future economic growth. We are researching statistics and trends and want to balance that with what you would embrace as special potential opportunities in the area. In the end, we want the plan to reflect the community and build on its strengths to differentiate it from the competition.
Please help us create YOUR plan and complete our survey – click on in the link below:
The Municipality of Markstay-Warren provides the following Vision, Mission, and Goals for the Economic Development Strategic Plan for Markstay-Warren’s stakeholder/citizen review. Following this stage, we will be creating detailed strategies and actions as a Phase 3 component of the Economic Development Strategic Plan study.
Vision and Mission Statement
Like an extended family, Markstay-Warren is welcoming, friendly, and supportive. Its residents embrace a quality family lifestyle amongst nature’s finest assets with steady growth in a rural area that is easily accessible to two Northern Ontario hub cities. Connected in business and trade with a focus on entrepreneurship, small business, agriculture, tourism, and recreational opportunities - residents and business owners balance those assets with a peaceful life just minutes away from Sudbury.
Markstay-Warren’s economic development mission is to increase the economic growth of the community while preserving the lifestyle and natural environment.
Guiding principles include:
Respecting community togetherness and neighbourly, small-town charm;
Ensuring that growth occurs in an orderly manner, in keeping with the environment and community lifestyle;
Appreciating the quality of rural and family life while ensuring moderate growth;
Supporting growth in entrepreneurship, agriculture, tourism, and small business;
Welcoming new businesses that fit with the overall Vision and Mission; and
Striving to provide the best public services.
Goal 1: Increase Economic Development Capacity at the Municipality
Interns have carried out economic development functions in the Municipality under the direction of the volunteer-based Community Development Corporation (CDC). To increase economic development capacity, several recommendations will be developed including the creation of an economic development officer position at the Municipality. 2
Goal 2: Ensure Investment Readiness
Rationale: there is significant competition for inward investment and other communities are increasing their investment readiness. To be competitive, Markstay-Warren must be equally prepared, responsive and ready to retain and attract new investment.
Goal 3: Change the Name of the Municipality
The name is divisive within the municipality, naming only two communities within the area. The names of the communities are for the people who live and work there. The name of the municipality is for outsiders – to draw people in – and the current hyphenated name is awkward and lacks appeal. An effective name is one that is simple, easy to remember, easy to spell, gives a sense of place without too narrow a focus, and sounds like an attractive place to visit for the target audience. Note that a name change of the Municipality will not change the names of each community.
Goal 4: Increase Population Level
Some types of businesses such as retail and service commercial uses will only be attracted to the area once the residential base has been further developed. While existing residents would like more amenities, and Council would like a bigger business tax base, this is unlikely to happen in the retail and service commercial sectors until there is greater demand for services. Starting with residential growth is the logical next step in developing this community.
Goal 5: Support and Grow the Agricultural Sector
The area is ideal for growing specialty high-yield crops and for hobby farms. Supporting this sector will have benefits twofold: 1) helping to grow the residential base with people who want to move to a rural location to farm for their own uses and for extra revenue; and 2) help grow entrepreneurship with people who want a more serious venture within the agricultural sector.
Goal 6: Support Existing Businesses
Support retention of existing businesses by ensuring local issues are addressed that could adversely impact their expansion plans. Doing so will help maintain and grow the local tax base and the community’s way of life.
Goal 7: Market to Small Businesses and Home-based Businesses
‘Small businesses’ are defined by OMAFRA as enterprises that employ 50 or fewer workers. In 2013, there were 103 registered businesses in Markstay-Warren – all of these are classified as small businesses (the Mohawk Garnet plant was not there in 2013). The vast majority of businesses in Markstay-Warren are very small businesses, and many are home-based – it is likely this will continue to be the pattern of business development. About half of the businesses in 2013 had no employees, and most could be considered very small: only four had 20 or more employees. The attraction of such businesses is closely linked to the attraction of new households, as many of these businesses will have their base of operations at home. 3
Goal 8: Support Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurs have been the engines of economic growth in every generation. Entrepreneurship is the process of creating a business idea and turning it into a real business - creating new goods and services based on new technologies, innovative ideas, and unsatisfied market demand. Supporting entrepreneurship is an important part of economic development.
Goal 9: Beautify the Municipality
Residents, tourists, and prospective investors and business owners – all of them will be more attracted to the area if it has an improved look. It is important to beautify the community as a whole to make it a desirable place to live, work, and play.
Goal 10: Tap Seasonal Resident Market
Seasonal residents represent a market for local services and may buy locally if they become aware of local services, including farmers markets.
Goal 11: Develop Local Tourism
While Markstay-Warren has limited tourism within its boundaries, it is a gateway to tourism – many people have to travel through the area to get to their destinations. Markstay-Warren can capitalize on this traffic to build its limited tourism industry and also capture dollars from people passing through.
Goal 12: Plan for Adequate Employment Lands
A key factor in attracting new businesses is having a good supply of shovel-ready strategically located, accessible and serviced employment lands.
Goal 13: Liaise with Sudbury East Groups on Regional Initiatives
Every community is part of a larger region. As with working together with the community, it is equally important for the community to work with its large neighbouring region to ensure that the community benefits from regional initiatives and to ensure maximum cross-promotion.
Goal 14: Increase Public Participation
Residents from each area within the community report feeling divided. For example, many residents only attend community events in their specific community area (such as Warren) rather than the broader Markstay-Warren community. Additionally, there has been a low level of voting at elections.
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The Municipality of Markstay-Warren lies within the Sudbury East area, located along the Highway 17 corridor between the City of Greater Sudbury and the City of North Bay. It was created in 1999 through the amalgamation of the political townships of Hagar, and Ratter and Dunnet, the geographic township of Awrey, and portions of the geographic townships of Hawley, Street, Loughrin and Henry. The three major settlements within the Municipality are the village of Markstay, the village of Hagar, and the village of Warren.