Creative Economy & Vibrant Sector Diversity!
Prince Edward County has emerged in recent years with an integrated rural economy that supports a broad range of small-scale entrepreneurs and creative economy based businesses. Some of our growing sectors showing notable strengths are agri-business, tourism, high tech, media, knowledge-based industries, arts and culture enterprises.
Although much of the business and entrepreneurial activity takes place in the commercial cores of the County’s largest settlement areas including Picton, Bloomfield, Wellington and Rossmore, local business growth is increasing in homes and on farms. This is a trend found in small urban and rural communities across Ontario.
The only Canadian Destination on Travel & Leisure Magazine’s 2015 list of top 50 places to visit
As the only Canadian destination on Travel & Leisure Magazine’s list of top 50 places to visit in the world, tourism is both central to the economy and representative as the area with greatest growth potential. The County attracts considerable tourism traffic during the summer due to Sandbanks Provincial Park and the burgeoning wine and craft-brewing industries. This adds a level of vibrancy and activity unique in Eastern Ontario.
It is The County’s “quality of place” experience and proximity to Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal and Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that draws new visitors to the area. This has resulted in new business ventures including restaurants, artisans, unique retail experiences and a growing culinary sector based on the growth of local food culture and the wine industry
Today, the manufacturing industry has transitioned to more advanced manufacturing techniques that draw on a well-educated workforce, commitments to research and development and an international reputation for being honest and reliable in business.
We are globally competitive, with strong links to post-secondary education facilities in Belleville and Kingston. We have entrepreneurs that are comfortable with international markets and local businesses constantly pushing the boundaries to produce new innovations.
We have many great opportunities to work alongside businesses that are growing in food and beverage manufacturing, advanced manufacturing and the high tech industry.
Small-scale niche and advanced manufacturing is thriving in The County. Proximity to three major markets in Ontario and the Canada-United States border makes Prince Edward County an ideal place to locate. The County also has a long history of food processing and manufacturing.
Agriculture in Prince Edward County consists of enterprising people with creative sensibilities. We have a thriving agri-business community with diverse opportunities ready for the taking. There are numerous traditional agriculture opportunities from our large-scale farms and orchards, to small-scale growing operations.
A visit to any farm will reveal a passionate community of growers and collaborators who value the soil as our agriculture wealth. The County has always had a diverse group of growers from traditional grain commodities to vegetable, fruit and specialist produce farms popping up all over the countryside.
The County has become a rural hot spot for food and drink.
What makes The County truly special is our burgeoning food community. Today, we have become a rural hot spot for food and drink where locally sourced everything is a way of life. It is typical for local chefs to work with area growers to craft menus from locally sourced in-season items. The result is a vibrant community of over 40 wineries, a growing craft beer scene, cider and spirits, and a burgeoning specialty grains scene.
Investment Objectives and Strategy:
The Upper Canada Equity Fund is an early stage equity investment fund that will co-invest over a two-year period with First Stone Venture Partners (FSVP) in 25 technology ventures that will locate in The County. Unlike traditional venture capitalists who focus on company sale/exit for investment return, First Stone Venture Partners and PELA CFDC have created a $10 million private-public co-investment model with the goal of building sustainable companies to boost economic diversity in rural Ontario.