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SCALING UP NIAGARA

Issues and Approaches to Improving SME Productivity and Growth
Dawit Eshetu, November 2017

The Niagara region is endowed with a geography providing natural advantages in agriculture, tourism, and transportation. Yet,
employment has historically been dominated by the service sector – mainly in hospitality, tourism, business, education, and
retail – and by a small number of manufacturing companies, most notably in auto manufacturing, and food processing (ICP 2014).
Over the past few decades, shifts in the region’s economy have resulted in the decimation of large-scale manufacturing and the
emergence of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as a key source of job creation and economic growth. This is not unique
to Niagara. Thus, there is a growing body of research emphasizing the importance of business productivity and innovation for SMEs
as key drivers of sustainable growth and job-creation in post-manufacturing economies like Niagara, and vital to the long-term
economic growth and living standards of socioeconomically challenged regions across Canada. Concurrently, in efforts to improve
business innovation and productivity of SMEs, business cluster strategy has come to the forefront of economic development
discussions.Read More…

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