Results launched from Windsor-Essex Economic Development survey

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Workforce Windsor-Essex, Invest Windsor-Essex, and St. Clair College have launched the results of their Windsor-Essex Economic Development survey.

The survey received 117 responses from local businesses, the majority of which were from manufacturing and other small service sectors.

The purpose of the survey is to identify the needs of businesses and assist economic development professionals to develop strategies that will support businesses to stay, grow, and become more competitive.

Tashlyn Teskey, Manager of Projects and Research at Workforce Windsor-Essex, says employers are having issues finding employees.

"There's a major struggle for employers to find new staff right now. As well as a little bit to keep the staff that they already have. There's a skill shortage across the board, we've known that historically for some of our sectors like the skilled trades, manufacturing and tech, but we're really feeling it across the board."

She says for some the pandemic was the perfect time to become an entrepreneur. 

"That was kind of a fortunate time for some to be able to have some free time to focus on a business that they've always wanted to, so it's just really important through some of these findings that we make sure that we have the community supports available to them, that they know where to get funding if they want to grow, they know where to get the right tech supports, the right supply chain help." 

The top barriers to growth in the region were identified as workforce skills shortage, marketing, and financing. 

The cost of space for rent or lease, cost of electricity, and support from municipality were identified as the most negative factors in doing business in the community.