Positive outlook for 2018

Positive outlook for 2018

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends

This is a guest post from Halifax Partnership
(Member since 1996)

Contributors:

Ron Hanlon, President and CEO, Halifax Partnership

Building on the momentum of 2017

Last year was another great one for Halifax, with the top headline being our record population growth.

In 2016, our population grew by 2 percent to 426,000 — above the goal of 1.7 percent and it is projected to have grown by another 2 percent in 2017.

In 2018, we enter year-three of Halifax’s 2016-21 Economic Growth Plan and there are a number of big things happening in the city that will continue to drive the growth we need to achieve our GDP and population goals. We are leading Halifax’s innovation agenda in partnership with all three levels of government and the private sector. The Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship is opening its doors in the spring. Volta Labs is tripling in size, creating more opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation. Creative Destruction Lab-Atlantic is coming to Halifax. Dalhousie’s ideaHUB will open in 2018 to support students interested in entrepreneurship. With all these things, we’re continuing to drive and accelerate growth in Halifax.

The Partnership is adding resources and spending more time with Volta, COVE and post-secondary institutions to deeply understand our city’s assets and tell our innovation story in a meaningful way, both to our community and the world, so Halifax can be promoted as a place to innovate and grow your business.

This year, we will build on the momentum created by our Sell Halifax Program — which included Halifax’s Amazon bid — and leverage the energy built around the collective effort that created our sales pitch. We will continue to work with NSBI, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Discover Halifax, Consider Canada Cities Alliance and others to be even more assertive in our efforts to sell and promote our great city. We will be proactive and specific in targeting global companies that are aligned with our value proposition.

We also need to continue to work hard in the area of labour market development to maintain this head start in attracting and keeping key talent. The Partnership’s Halifax Connector and Game Changers programs help businesses make connections to local and international talent to meet labour needs. I encourage you to take advantage of these programs this year.

Immigration was our main opportunity for population growth last year and will be again in 2018. The Atlantic Immigration Program aims to make the hiring and immigration process easier on employers experiencing challenges finding the labour they need. If you have labour gaps to fill, contact the Partnership to learn more.

Together, we’re working toward a quantitative vision for the city: a population of 550,000 and a GDP of $30 billion by 2031. We all need to keep that vision in mind in the work we do every day. Halifax’s five-year Growth Plan is the roadmap to achieving these economic goals.

Let’s keep working together toward our collective vision for the city. Collaboration and alignment are key to accelerating growth in Halifax.

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