Downtown Revitalization Survey Results Released

Positive Impacts Continue for Downtown Businesses

March 27, 2018   For Immediate Release

Kenora, ON – The City of Kenora’s Economic Development Department is pleased to share the results of the recent survey of downtown merchants. The purpose of the survey was to measure the job creation indicators and economic impacts of the third phase of the Downtown Revitalization project which focused on improvements on Second Street South. Overall, businesses in the Harbourtown Centre continue to see positive impacts from Downtown Revitalization projects.

Key results from this year’s survey include:
• 52 responses
• 27 businesses created
• 17 businesses expanded/relocated
• 252 jobs created since 2013
• 23 businesses responded in 2013 and 2018
• 120 jobs created in those 23 businesses

A number of comments were submitted, including:
• Over the last four and half years, I have found Kenora to be a very supportive community for business development;
• The Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for storefronts has had, a huge impact on the effectiveness of this project as a whole
• Main Street and Second Street look great. I would like to see the corner of First Street and Matheson Street revitalized

Perhaps one of the more unanticipated and encouraging results of this year’s survey is the 120 jobs created in 23 business that responded in both 2013 and 2018. A number of positive effects can be gathered from this information. First, a fair number of businesses have remained in operation for at least 5 years. Second, businesses are not only remaining open but are also increasing the number of employees required to operate and expanding to meet needs of customers. This is very inspiring for newly opened downtown businesses and also for future entrepreneurs looking to open a business in Kenora’s downtown area.

“The City of Kenora is fortunate to have the natural beauty that surrounds our City, and our revitalized downtown area only extends that beauty by offering residents and visitors diverse and unique businesses in esthetically appealing storefronts to choose from. We really do have it all!” says Councillor Mort Goss.

”The results of the recent survey are encouraging,” says Megan Dokuchie, Economic Development Officer,  “and the indicators will be used to support funding requests for the next phase of the project.”

Corey Jones, Economic Development Intern would like to thank all the businesses that have responded to the Downtown Revitalization Impact Survey. “We appreciate the feedback and participation we received and are excited to plan for the fourth phase of the Downtown Revitalization Project, Chipman Street and First Street South.”

About the Downtown Revitalization Project and Previous Survey
The spring of 2008 marked the start of the Downtown Revitalization Project in Kenora. The project was divided into five phases which have to date included Main Street South, the Harbourfront and Lake of the Woods Plaza, and Second Street South. The fourth phase will involve Chipman Street and First Street South.

The first two phases of the project were completed between 2008 and 2013. Once completed, a survey was conducted by the City of Kenora’s Economic Development Department to gauge the impact of the project on downtown businesses. The main purpose of the survey was to measure job creation in the downtown since 2008, understand the operating hours of downtown businesses and to measure the overall business climate. The survey boasted very positive results, with 59 businesses responding and 261 jobs being created since 2008.

The third phase of Downtown Revitalization began in 2013 and was recently completed in winter 2018. To measure outcomes, the City of Kenora’s Economic Development Department again undertook a survey of downtown businesses to gauge the impacts. The purpose of this survey was very similar to the one administered in 2013 and the majority of questions remained the same, effectively allowing the results to be accurately compared.