The Business Ombudsman Initiative

By Marion Fantetti

Some exciting news!  Today, Sandra Pupatello, CEO of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corp. announced a new initiative of direct outreach to businesses – the Business Ombudsman.

I’m Marion Fantetti and I’m excited to take on this role as the Business Ombudsman and for what it means for our business community – a direct point of contact to help them get through hurdles that may be impacting their business , and where they need answers quickly.  For example, when there are issues relative to government that our business people can’t resolve – we step in.  It’s also part of a differentiator in being able to promote our business-friendly environment to local businesses as well as to investors.

I have a great team of CAOs from the City of Windsor and the County of Essex – essentially the most senior official of every town in our region, along with representatives from our local Federal and Provincial MP and MPP offices. They are the conduits into their administration where some resolution may be required to assist our local businesses.

What does this mean?

Everyone recognizes the importance of assisting our existing businesses, any new ones, and of course, any perspective investors. This ‘team’ approach will demonstrate that we are business-friendly and outreaching to business to help them grow and be satisfied.

I’ll be reaching out to the business community with more information on this new initiative as we move forward.

For businesses, I think they will find that there is whole body of resources out there for them and my job is to make sure they get to those resources, and that they get answers quickly.  Why?  Because we want them to be in a position to grow and do well.  We want businesses in our region to do well and we are taking specific measures to help them and help them find answers.  Those answers may not always be “yes” or “no” but businesses need to know that we are going through all the proper channels and work through how public policy, government regulations and legislation affect Windsor-Essex County businesses; “stick handling” through the processes.

This role is really important to economic development – think of it as a canary in the coal mine – you get to see the issues before they are really big and unmanageable – you get to see the trends that are happening in the industries so that we get ahead of them before they get too bad.

If there are issues or policies impacting the growth of our businesses, we will know about it and we’ll let the key decision makers know about it, proactively, ahead of time.

Watch for my blog where I will be sharing key information on rising issues, trends and good news stories about business in our region. In this blog, I’ll have the opportunity to share information on common business issues and celebrating successes. I also look forward to sharing some great things happening in our business-friendly environment…so please stay tuned – I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you too!

To get in touch with me either give me a call at 519-255-9200 x2222 or send me an email at

This is all part of a plan to promote the Windsor-Essex region as the most business friendly environment, anywhere! 


Marion Fantetti, Business Ombudsman

Marion Fantetti is the Business Ombudsman for the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation

Economic Monitor – How data helps drive investment

By Wendy Stark

When a national or global corporation considers whether or not to invest in a region, the decision-makers want to know whether the community will be a good fit for their business. They look for information about the population, labour force, recent expansions and relocations by other companies and anything else that will give them a sense of the region’s prospects.

Site selectors look at a community in a slightly different way. When they evaluate a region, they typically look for ways to compare it to other locations being considered by their clients. They compare statistics like the unemployment rate, gross domestic product, employment in various sectors and growth rate forecasts. They use these comparisons to make recommendations to their clients.

To community organizations and existing Windsor-Essex companies, statistics are important for their internal planning processes.

Every month, the WEEDC produces an Economic Monitor that provides a snapshot of the Windsor-Essex economy including useful statistics. Some statistics, such as unemployment rates, building permits and housing starts, change every month; others, including the gross domestic product and employment by industry, change quarterly or semi-annually.

WEEDC regularly purchases data from Statistics Canada and from the Conference Board of Canada, and gathers information from various other sources including Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Service Canada and municipal administrative offices.

Most important, perhaps, are the forecasts from the Conference Board which provide a glimpse into the future of the region. All of this information is presented in the Economic Monitor along with explanatory notes, giving potential investors and community stakeholders a picture of the current economy and insights into what’s in store for Windsor-Essex in the next year or two.

You’ll find current and archived issues of the Economic Monitor on the WEEDC website: View April’s Economic Monitor Now

Wendy Stark, Economic Development Officer, Windsor Essex Economic Development CorporationWendy Stark is an Economic Development Officer for the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation.