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January 15th, 2018

North Middlesex Joins the Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance

The Municipality of North Middlesex recently committed to annual membership in the Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance (SOMA). The Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance is one of the longest established regional marketing organizations in the Province of Ontario which caters to the needs of small and mid-size municipalities seeking foreign direct investment opportunities. Due to its long running history and consistent programming the SOMA Brand has become well known in international investment circles. Current members of SOMA include Ingersoll, Stratford, St. Thomas, Tillsonburg, Woodstock and the County of Perth.

“The SOMA Board is thrilled to welcome the Municipality of North Middlesex into the SOMA organization and we look forward to their active participation in the foreign direct investment program initiated by SOMA”, says Len Magyar, President. Magyar indicated that “there is no question that by working collaboratively our member municipalities can better deliver their ‘investment ready’ message much further afield and much more economically than they can on their own”.

Membership in SOMA offers instant access to a minimum of five foreign trade events, membership in several other regional economic organizations and participation in their activities as well as access to any investment missions that SOMA leads. According to Magyar, municipalities going it alone would spend 4 to 5 times more than the price of annual membership in SOMA to achieve the same level of activity so in a cost conscious environment it continues to makes sense to partner with similar minded communities.

“From our analysis SOMA was very successful in generating a large number of leads and contacts for their members through 15 different trade events in 2017 alone” according to Justin Dias, the Director of Economic Development and Community Services for North Middlesex. While many SOMA activities are generally focussed on foreign direct investment activities we do appreciate
that contacts made at these events may also create opportunities for our existing businesses according to Dias.

Mayor Don Shipway indicated that he has followed the work that SOMA has done in the past and looks forward to opportunities where the Municipality of North Middlesex can be more actively involved. According to Shipway “SOMA has very effectively leveraged partnership resources and we believe the Municipality of North Middlesex will benefit from this cooperative model to economic development.” Being part of a larger regional group in order to meet key decision makers opens up the greatest possible range of opportunities to a smaller community like North Middlesex.

Mayor Shipway indicates that North Middlesex is looking forward to being actively involved with SOMA and benefiting from the contacts and economic development profile that the organization generates for its member communities.

Len Magyar
President – Southwestern Ontario Marketing Alliance (SOMA)
(519) 539-2382 ext. 2112
Justin Dias
Director of Economic Development and Community Services
Municipality of North Middlesex
(519) 294-6244 ext. 220