Mayor’s Task Force identifies mental health support, PPE procurement as vital to economic recovery

Guelph, Ont., May 27, 2020–The Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery continues to pursue both community- and government-led solutions to support local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. At its third meeting, held earlier this week via teleconference, the Task Force identified the need for mental health support and coordinated procurement and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) as critical components of economic recovery.

“Now that we’ve been given the go-ahead from the Province to re-open some parts of the economy, the Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery is focused on helping local businesses get back up and running so they can begin to recover from the widespread financial losses they’ve suffered over the past few months,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “Community safety is still our top priority, so the Task Force is working to help businesses plan for re-opening in a way that protects workers and the public and complies with public health protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Mental health support for businesses and individuals

“Throughout the pandemic, we have seen a significant baseline change in the mental health of Guelph residents with increased presentations of anxiety, fear, quarantine fatigue and worry for the future,” said Helen Fishburn, Executive Director of CMHA Waterloo Wellington.  “As we consider the resumption of our economic activity in our city, there will be a range of reactions, and it will be critical to pay attention to and support the mental health needs of our workforce.  It will be essential to not only keep our workforce physically safe, but psychologically safe as well. This equal balance between physical safety and mental health wellness will be key factors in a strong economic return.”

CMHA Waterloo Wellington has created a range of mental health support programs and initiatives to support businesses, healthcare providers, and community members whose mental health has been impacted by COVID-19, including:

  • Webinars for employers with tips for how to support mental health in the workplace
  • A new website ( with curated resource guides for children and parents, adults, seniors and caregivers, employees and employers and healthcare providers
  • The Here4Healthcare ( coordinated access mechanism, which provides clinical services such as psychiatry and individual and group therapy specifically for healthcare providers who are faced with exceptional circumstances while working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Here 24/7 continues to provide centralized access into all mental health, addiction and crisis services in Guelph

For more information about the above resources, visit

Locally-sourced PPE

Members of the Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery have identified the need for a coordinated, community-based approach to the procurement and distribution of PPE to help businesses comply with public health protocols for keeping workers and the general public safe as they reopen.

The Guelph Chamber of Commerce is working alongside local businesses such as Hall Telecommunications, Dixon’s Distilled Spirits and Linamar to create a centralized directory to help businesses source PPE locally. For more information, visit

“As we cautiously re-open businesses, the safety of workers and consumers is crucial,” said Shakiba Shayani, Chief Executive Officer of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. “This is why we wanted to assist with the coordination of centralizing purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE). I’m pleased so many Guelph Chamber members continue to step up and help with this endeavour.”

Other support resources for Guelph businesses

The City’s economic development team publishes weekly COVID-related bulletins, in addition to monthly editions of the Mind Your Business e-newsletter, to share resources, webinars, and news about emerging issues for Guelph’s business community. To read previous issues or subscribe to Mind Your Business, visit

The Guelph Chamber of Commerce is actively monitoring new developments pertaining to COVID-19 and how they are affecting businesses in the Guelph community. The Chamber shares a range of resources, including government announcements, business support services, and information about how to return to work safely at

City of Guelph responding to COVID-19

The Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery works alongside Council, the City’s emergency management team and the economic recovery working group to identify and evaluate potential solutions to address both the current needs and long-term sustainability of Guelph’s economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City’s economic recovery working table continues to pursue municipal programs and time-sensitive policy amendments to support Guelph’s business community and stimulate long-term economic recovery. City-led initiatives are submitted for Council consideration via regular COVID-related Council meetings; the next meeting will take place on June 17, and staff reports will be posted on in advance of the meeting.

About the Task Force

The Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery is made up of 28 business owners and operators, government representatives and support agencies who represent organizations of all sizes and across various sectors, including manufacturing, social enterprise, education, energy, hospitality and tourism, and arts and culture.

For more information about the Task Force, visit

Media Contact

Katherine Galley
Communications Advisor, Mayor’s Office
[email protected]