Economic Development News & Insight


Paul Blais

Paul Blais

Paul has been active in the economic development profession for 17 years. Over the last seven years he has consulted for more than 100 private and public sector clients. Prior to that, Paul held positions of increasing influence as a municipal economic development professional in rural and urban communities – concluding as the Director of Business Retention and Attraction with the Kingston Economic Development Corporation. While in Kingston and the County of Lennox and Addington his retention and attraction efforts led to $300 million in new investment and the preservation and attraction of 600 jobs. Paul is equally comfortable with projects in Canada’s small rural communities and large city regions and has been most active leading projects in Western Canada and Northern/Southern Ontario. His greatest job satisfaction comes when clients say “You really understand us.” and “This action plan is aggressive but realistic and we can do it!”. Projects that align best with Paul’s interests are economic development strategies, industry sector strategies and cluster profiles, business park feasibilities, organizational reviews and regional coordination of economic development, marketing strategies and action plans, creating promotional materials, corporate strategic planning, rural development, Aboriginal community development, lead generation, development for resource-based communities, and business retention and expansion projects. On the private sector side, his work is highlighted by the creation of market entry strategies and site selection assignments for major firms looking to expand into new territories and develop new business units. Paul also works closely with the business community through the firm’s Business Retention and Expansion practice, having completed more than 20 projects. Paul is frequently asked to speak about his varied experiences at conferences and workshops and in 2012 travelled to Ukraine and Ecuador to exchange ideas with economic developers who are growing program capacity at the local level. He has also published many papers and articles and holds a BA and MA in Geography (with a specialization in community economic development) from Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo. He has his EcD. professional certification as an economic developer and has served on a number of economic development and tourism boards of directors. He now lives near Kingston in the community of Sydenham with his wife Cara and their two daughters, Taryn and Abbey. Twitter: @paulblaisLinkedIn

Articles Posted by Paul Blais

The Fall Fair as an entrepreneurial meetup

I didn’t always appreciate the Fall Fair.  Growing up, it was mostly about eating cotton candy, riding the Tilt-a-Whirl and watching the cars get smashed More...