Brantford forms task force to recover economy made up of business, labour reps and more

 Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force includes local businesses, labour, non-profits, all city sectors tasked to save local economy

By Lynda Powless

Editor

BRANTFORD, ON:  Brantford City Council has unanimously approved the formation of a task force made up of city officials, staff, business and industry representatives and a mix of non-profit, education and labour force representatives all aimed at rebuilding the city’s local economy.

Mayor Kevin Davis: “I am very encouraged by the positive response we have received from local businesses to work together collaboratively to rebuild our local economy.”

The Mayor” Economic Recovery Task Force, that  will have representatives from 30 various agencies, was approved during a virtual city council meeting  Tuesday May 12, 2020. The task  force will focus on recovery and rebuilding efforts across all sectors of the city’s economy.

The task force was formed in response to “unprecedented economic hardships faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” a statement from the city says.

The statement  said the task force “will look at a variety of ideas and implement solutions to address the ongoing need for crisis management resources for business owners and operators, as well as short-term measures to assist businesses as they reopen, and longer-term capacity-building opportunities to sustain operations.”

The task force follows the City’s Economic Development team’s launching of the #BrantfordTogether campaign April 7, 2020 . The campaign runs across all of the City’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) daily, with the objective of supporting and promoting local businesses while keeping the community connected at a time when we continue to need to stay apart, the release says.

The Task Force will explore and implement opportunities for local, provincial and federal support programs to help businesses of all sizes address current operational and financial challenges, the statement says and will share recommendations for Council’ to consider and provide direction to City staff to implement Brantford specific solutions.

Prior to the mandated closure of non-essential businesses in March, Brantford’s unemployment rate was among the lowest levels nationally. Furthermore, residential and industrial start-ups, and construction activity figures were on track to outperform record highs from previous years. An important priority for the Task Force will be to  build on the established momentum prior to the Covid-19 crisis, with the clear objective to revive Brantford’s economic landscape to former robust levels.

The Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force will be made up of 30 representatives from various fields including, government and labour representatives, as well as not-for-profit organizations and support agencies who represent establishments of all sizes across various sectors, including (but not limited to), manufacturing, retail, education, energy, arts and culture, hospitality and tourism.

“I am very encouraged by the positive response we have received from local businesses to work together collaboratively to rebuild our local economy” said Mayor Kevin Davis. “I know how resilient our community is and am very committed to exploring all possible solutions including advocacy to other levels of government to support local businesses through this particularly difficult time.”

“I’m proud to be part of this important initiative that will be instrumental in guiding the City’s efforts through our COVID-19 economic recovery,” said Kevin Finney, the City’s Director of Economic Development and Tourism. “The Task Force has an important mandate to revive and sustain local businesses and employment, mitigate the economic hardships affecting those impacted the most, and to ultimately build a resilient and equitable future for our community.”

The first meeting of the Task Force is expected to take place virtually next week.

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