Rural economic summit slated for end of the month

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Louis Garneau will be the keynote speaker at the Rural Economic Summit later this month.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Rural business owners and economic stakeholders will gather later this month to explore challenges to development in small communities while also learning about the strengths of their hometowns.

The rural Economic Summit of Ontario is taking place April 30 to May 2 in Rockland and features and keynote address from Louis Garneau, president and founder of Louis Garneau Sports, a company that  does business in over 45 countries worldwide.

"He got his start in his father's garage," said Caroline Arcand, spokesperson for the summit. "When we think of rural businesses that's how they start."

The summit will explore barriers to economic growth in rural Ontario, with a specific emphasis on the transition being experience in small communities throughout the province.

"Rural communities are facing major transformations right now," said Arcand. "One of the realities is the income levels per capita.

"Research has demonstrated how rural communities are in between urban areas and there are a lot of issues facing rural purchasing power. It creates a lot of challenges for small business owners and the local government to keep up."

But Arcand pointed out the positive aspects of rural life will be presented as well.

"The fact that we know who you are dealing with can accelerate local projects. We know who we are working with," she said.

For more information on the summit, which will be hosted at the International Hockey Academy in Rockland, check out www.sommet2014summit.ca.

Organizations: Louis Garneau Sports, International Hockey Academy

Geographic location: Ontario, Rockland

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