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The Canadian Business Journal
our economy regarding organic growth for local
There is also a young entrepreneur’s program
to acquire seed funding for robust enterprise
ideas. Those young people need to submit a
business plan. The values of the opportunities of
the plan are judged because only a limited num-
ber are accepted to the program.
Tourist Attractions
Two alluring provincial parks can be found
within Chatham-Kent’s boundaries: Wheatley
and Rondeau. A piece of Carolinian forest is
preserved in the Clear Creek Forest, and the lakes
draw boaters and anglers from far and wide.
Most of the communities host festivals that focus
on specific areas of interest, which serves as an
excellent tourism draw from the point of view of
going to small-town Canada and enjoying some
of the festivities that they have throughout the
summer. It’s hoped a sizable spike in American
attendance will be recognized in 2016 with the
low Canadian dollar.
“You tend to see Chatham-Kent jam-packed
with things to do in the summer months par-
ticularly, as well as access to the two lakes and
marinas in the area and to draw in U.S. tourists,”
Burton says.
Chatham-Kent is well known for the Buxton
Museum National Historic Site, which draws a lot
of interest and is open year round. One of the
biggest reunions of people of African-Canadian
descent, who are descendants of the original
settlers, occurs on the Labour Day weekend.
There is also the picturesque Thames River,
where many people can be found picnicking in
the summer.
“We don’t have a Canada’s Wonderland or
a Niagara Falls as a destination but a lot of our
tourism is based on outdoor activity and enjoy-
ing the character and nature of the community,”
Burton says.
Looking to the Future
Over the next five years Mayor Hope, Burton and
Worrall each expect to see continued growth
and prosperity. Mayor Hope would like to see
the population of Chatham-Kent reach 120,000
along with an added diversity of new technolo-
gies, whether it’s in agriculture, automotive or
another burgeoning business sector.
“All the systems and infrastructure is in place
to handle the increase to 120,000 people,” Mayor
Hope says.
Mayor Hope, Burton and the economic
development team have had incredible success
in working with existing companies for the pur-
pose of promoting and developing expansion.
In the next five years Burton would like to see 10
new companies join the municipality. From the
Mayor’s perspective, he has put a direct focus on
foreign direct investment, particularly because of
the notable opportunities in Asia as well as com-
panies looking to North American expansion.
In that regard, Burton and his economic team
have been working diligently to attract interest in
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