A wide variety of employment sectors and industries are flourishing in Owen Sound. While business services and retail trade are our top two employment sectors, there are also plenty of opportunities to be found in health care, social services, manufacturing, construction and more.
- Health Care – The Health Care sector, made up of both private and public entities, is the largest employment sector in Owen Sound with over 3,000 jobs. The largest concentration of employment is at the Grey Bruce Regional Hospital which has on-site over 1100 position. The new Family Health Team located on the Westside of the Owen Sound harbour and the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit located on the east side of the harbour, both are health care focal points. In the private sector a number of small business offer a range of holistic health care services and appears to be growing with an aging population. Georgian College supports this sector with training programs offered locally particularly the nursing programs.
- Manufacturing – Despite the significant decline in manufacturing across North America, the manufacturing sector in Owen Sound remains strong and vibrant. Employment in manufacturing exceed 2,000 jobs with such leading firms as TC Transcontinental Printing, Tenneco Automotive, Hobart, Bellwyck Packaging, and MacLean Engineering. With available manufacturing space now available for lease, there are great opportunities for small or large manufactures. Owen Sound is home the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) which provides advice and training to leading manufacturers across North America. Manufacturers requiring a commercial port would also find opportunities.
- Retail – As the regional center for Grey and Bruce, Owen Sound has over 2 million sq. ft. in retail space serving a primary and secondary market of over 150,000. Home to large box stores such as Home Depot, Wal Mart, Sears, Sports Check, Canadian Tire, Winners, Michaels, and the regional Heritage Shopping Center, Owen Sound is a growing regional retail center. Owen Sound downtown is equally impressive with its charming historic streetscape with many boutique stores. Over 300 businesses are located downtown with a respectable vacancy rate of 13%. The City has a number of incentives to support new investment.
- Small Business / e-commerce – With available high speed internet entreprentuners, consultants and frequent travellers can make Owen Sound their head office while serving the world. Why deal with traffic congestion when you can be fishing or golfing. Not everyone has this luxury but if you create your wealth via e-commerce and can live anywhere, why not Owen Sound…..good for business, good for families and good for you. Owen Sound is serviced by Bell, Rogers, Telus and other local providers.
Our economic development strategy aims to attract new investment, expanding the employment base for the small business sector throughout a variety of our key sectors including advanced manufacturing, scientific and technical services and cultural industries. We want to partner with organizations and individuals to create even more opportunities in an even wider range of industries for business owners and job seekers alike.
The attached strategy was development by the economic development and tourism committee. Broadly described areas of focus are the 1) quality of life and pride of place 2) business retention and expansion and 3) investment attraction. A number of action items are described to advance the City in these three areas, primarily those actions which maintain the City’s strength as a regional center.