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October 11, 2023

Amazon’s new warehouse in Belleville is hiring, thanks to help from Ontario East Economic Development Commission

EDO of the Year Award 2023

Thanks to help from Ontario East Economic Development Commission

Member Quinte Economic Development Commission calls the work they do a “team sport”

Belleville has a new employer — and a critical link in Eastern Ontario’s supply chain — thanks to a hot tip from a commercial realtor.

The tip went to Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC), a member of the Ontario East Economic Development Commission (Ontario East), a regional marketing organization representing Eastern Ontario communities that attracts and retains investment and talent in key employment sectors.

A few months earlier, the QEDC’s economic development officer Vicki Bristow Ferguson had put the land where the warehouse now stands on the realtor’s radar for another project, but it wasn’t the right fit.

When Amazon’s developer called a couple of months later in September of 2021, the realtor reached out to find out if it was still available. It turned out to be the goldilocks solution.

“Bringing Amazon to Belleville will create a ripple effect of economic growth and prosperity across the region for years to come,” said QEDC’s CEO Chris King. “Local small businesses will benefit as they may get work at the facility, like plumbers, painters or electricians.”

Once the match was made with Amazon, the QEDC handed it off to the city for the next steps.

“Our role is to bring them those projects,” said King. “Then the city engages in conversations with the investors when the time is right.”

The process for building a 1.1 million square foot building in under two years went smoothly for everyone involved, with the warehouse opening its doors this fall and sparking hundreds of jobs in the region.

“Developers said they appreciated the process of working with the City of Belleville on permitting and approvals and construction of the project,” said Ferguson. “They said they wanted to take our process and apply it to other sites.”

The road to success sounds simple enough, but developing the kind relationships with key local influencers that Ontario East members can nurture into a big project is just one part of the “team sport” of economic development.


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