Earlier this morning, Ottawa’s Mayor Jim Watson joined Co-Chair Jeff Westeinde and local entrepreneurs to officially open Invest Ottawa, the flagship of the City’s $5.5-million annual economic development strategy. Invest Ottawa, which replaces the Ottawa Centre for Regional Innovation (OCRI), will foster start-up enterprises, attract new investment, and help existing businesses located in Ottawa expand beyond our borders.
“One of my priorities in this mandate was to establish Invest Ottawa to help attract more investment and foster greater economic growth in our nation’s capital,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Recent headlines surrounding public service job losses underscore the need to diversify our local economy, and Invest Ottawa is going to help us do just that. Invest Ottawa is a clear commitment to inspire more entrepreneurs to build our prosperity to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.”
“I feel like Ottawa has a renewed interest in growing exciting businesses again,” said Bruce Lazenby, Invest Ottawa’s President and CEO. “We are now providing incubation services for startups, rapidly forming effective collaborations between the city’s economic stakeholders to increase entrepreneurial activity, and hiring sector-specific business development executives tasked with measurable growth goals.”
According to Statistics Canada jobs report stated the region added more than 8,300 jobs in January and more than 20,000 jobs over the past year. This pushed the Ottawa and area’s jobless rate down to 5.9 per cent, well below the national figure of 7.6 per cent.