Huron County has some added tools to help with economic development

Goderich - The Square (photo by Bob Montgomery)

Huron County Council has some added information to help plan economic development as it works with Chambers of Commerce and Business Improvement Associations.

Through the summer, information was collected on commercial vacancy rates across the county.

Some of the main findings include:

-a 15.1 per cent commercial property vacancy rate in Huron County, the lowest number since the first collection in November 2020

-all municipalities have fewer vacant commercial spaces when compared with December 2021

-the four largest population centers, Goderich, Exeter, Clinton, and Wingham, all have the lowest vacancy rates observed since collection began and account for about 60% of the County’s commercial property spaces

Bayfield and Blyth were also mentioned as having low vacancy rates.

Huron County Economic Development Officer, Alex Ripley, presented the report last week.

“It tells us where the gaps are. It tells us where demand is higher, where it’s lower. Anecdotally, these are things that people might already know, but it’s nice to put numbers to them if you’re making big decisions based on this data. And actually, it’s something that very few places collect,” explained Ripley.

“As well as the stakeholders that we work with, Community Futures Huron, BIAs, the Chamber of Commerce. It will allow us to target the programming we do better, it will give a bit of feedback on how programming is being received and it’s also a leading indicator on what the economic conditions in the region are.”

Ripley says, down the road, having that information should help them attract new businesses that are looking to locate in the county.