The local economy continues to grow and diversify as the City of Greater Sudbury moves forward with the Economic Recovery Strategic Plan. The City is focusing its attention and resources on key actions that will support the community's efforts in recovery from challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the results from the first quarter of 2022 are released, we continue to find innovative ways to work with partners to support local businesses.
"Over the past 24 months, it's been a difficult time for many in our community, but together we have shown resiliency and supported one another," said the Mayor of Greater Sudbury. "Council continues to fund recovery efforts for the community to promote economic growth for Greater Sudbury, and we are seeing the results with a strong first quarter."
The applications for new residential units increased with a value of $10.8 million for 68 resident units. The growth of miscellaneous residential construction value increased in the first quarter with a construction value of $11.5 million, more than the first quarter of 2021 and the first quarter five-year average.
In line with trends, building permits issued increased in the first quarter of 2022, with 305 permits issued, valued at $45 million. Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) building permits increased from 2021, with 83 permits issued in the first quarter at a value of $22.6 million. Building permit activity in this area contributes to strong employment growth in the community, demonstrated in part by an unemployment rate of four per cent in March.
Information continues to be made available to developers, investors and the public through various avenues, including the Development Tracking Dashboard, which provides updated data on residential, industrial, commercial and institutional development in the community.
"Greater Sudbury continues to be a place people want to work, live and do business,” said Ed Archer, Chief Administrative Officer at the City of Greater Sudbury. “Our community has been resilient and competitive throughout the global pandemic thanks to investments by Council, great community collaboration and innovative changes to municipal services. Thanks to everyone pulling together, we’ve been able to quickly adapt and continue to grow our local economy.”
As a successful applicant of the Streamline Development Approval Funds program, the City will be undertaking several initiatives over the next year to help expedite the development approval process, including online permitting, a more flexible policy framework and improved infrastructure data. The fund is geared toward improving municipal development approval processes and streamlining residential development applications in Ontario.
As part of the Economic Recovery Strategic Plan, a new innovative Strategic Core Areas Community Improvement Plan (CIP) was approved by City Council, replacing the existing Downtown Sudbury and Town Centre Community Improvement Plans. Public consultation is currently taking place for the new draft. Learn more and submit your feedback by visiting overtoyou.greatersudbury.ca/scacip.
Other successes this quarter include the launch of the Regional Business Centre Downtown Business Incubator project, known as the Innovation Quarters (IQ), which has made significant progress. This new and exciting hub focuses on assisting local entrepreneurs with a desire to grow their tech-enabled startups. It will soon have access to mentorship opportunities, office space and tailored programming through the establishment of an incubator. The incubator is a partnership between the City of Greater Sudbury, NORCAT and the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, under the coordination of the Regional Business Centre.
Greater Sudbury continues to grow as we welcome new residents to the community. In the first quarter of 2022, there were 46 individuals approved to apply for permanent residency through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program (RNIP). This is an increase from 2021, in which nine individuals were approved in the first quarter. The demand continues to be strong in 2022, with new applications coming in on a near-daily basis. Since the program's inception, 141 individuals have been approved, representing 316 new residents for our community when spouses and family members are included.
Other sectors, such as arts and culture, continue to recover, with two productions filmed in the community at the start of 2022. The film and television industry attracts talented and creative people to Greater Sudbury, resulting in jobs that help them stay in the north.
Those interested in learning more about Greater Sudbury's economic growth in 2021 can visit https://investsudbury.ca/about-us/economic-bulletin/ Related information will be shared and reported quarterly in 2022.