Guelph, Ont., April 22, 2020–At the first meeting of the Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery, held this morning via teleconference, business owners and operators from across Guelph shared insights into how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected local businesses and identified opportunities for federal, provincial and community-based solutions to promote economic recovery.
Members of the task force, who represent businesses of all sizes and across various sectors, including manufacturing, construction, education, energy, hospitality and tourism, reported unprecedented operational and financial repercussions stemming from a fragile local economy and rapidly-evolving business landscape. The group identified common challenges, including: labour interruptions and widespread layoffs, financial pressure from commercial rent, utility costs and insurance premiums, and a lack of clarity around the subsidies and relief programs available to businesses from each level of government.
The task force also identified the public health crisis’ impact on mental health, at both the individual and community level, as an emerging concern. Participants acknowledged that the economic impacts to local businesses will continue to be felt by the individuals and families who contribute to Guelph’s diverse workforce.
“I am thrilled with how quickly leaders from Guelph’s business community came together to evaluate the burden COVID-19 has put on our local economy, and begin the ambitious work of identifying opportunities and solutions to help businesses weather the storm,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “This task force represents a wealth of perspectives and expertise, and I feel energized by our collective commitment to innovation, agility, and resilience as we work towards economic recovery. I am also grateful to City Councillors Cathy Downer, Dominique O’Rourke and Mike Salisbury for contributing their knowledge and support as the task force’s Council liaisons.”
In the weeks and months ahead, the Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery will focus on developing strategies to assist local businesses and advocating on behalf of the community to promote solutions that will meet Guelph’s unique and diverse economic needs.
Communications Advisor, Mayor’s Office