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Community benefits tools build community wealth: report

Inclusive Economy London and Region endorses Windsor report showcasing how rural, small- and medium-sized cities win when they adopt community benefits models.


A new report by the Windsor-Essex Community Benefits Coalition and United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County shows how inclusive economy policies could empower rural communities and small- and mid-sized cities like London region.


The report, Building Community Wealth: What is possible in rural, small and mid-sized communities, aligns with policy proposals that Inclusive Economy London and Region has been advancing and should be adopted as a regional playbook.


“As Canada looks to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, we must look at ways to ensure that the recovery in our communities is both just and inclusive,” says Sarah Middleton, Director of Community Impact, United Way Elgin Middlesex and member of the Inclusive Economy London and Region leadership team. “Community benefits agreements hold out great promise.”


The report explores how communities can experience long-term dividends through more prosperous local economies by formalizing community benefits in the development process. It showcases a made-in-London example: The London Children’s Museum and michael clark construction are exploring smaller-scale community benefits from the construction portion of the museum’s new location at 100 Kellogg’s Lane.


“Our homegrown example shows how community benefits aren’t only for large cities and mega-infrastructure projects,” says Inclusive Economy London and Region Coordinator Michael Courey. “Right-sizing community benefits agreements and other wealth-building tools for smaller communities can yield long-term dividends that will create a more inclusive economy and create new job and training opportunities for marginalized people in our community.”


The report is endorsed by 25 agencies, businesses and groups across the province—including Inclusive Economy London and Region—and is available to download at www.windsoressexcb.ca.