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County to establish economic recovery team; help for businesses under way

Mayor Steve Ferguson

Mayor Steve Ferguson announced Friday he is establishing an economic recovery team in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the near future, we are going to shift our focus from crisis response to recovery. And when we do, we need to be prepared to work quickly and efficiently to improve the long-term economic well-being of Prince Edward County,” said Ferguson.

The Mayor’s Economic Recovery Team will help identify needs, assist in the flow of communication, and better equip the municipality to respond to challenges with programs and activities that leverage support offered at the federal, provincial and regional levels.

“Like every community across Canada, we have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ferguson said. “While we face unprecedented challenges, I remain enthusiastic, positive and hopeful because our business community is made up of resourceful, entrepreneurial, and hard-working people. As a municipality, we need to hear from those people and come up with a strategy on how best we can support them now and in future.”

The Recovery Team will include members of council and community members representing a broad range of economic sectors. Membership and further details about the Recovery Team are to be announced next week.

Picton Business Improvement Association and The Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to provide resources to Prince Edward County businesses.

Both organizations have been speaking directly to business owners to understand concerns and challenges.

“By collaborating, we are ensuring that we don’t waste our efforts by duplicating work,” said Sarah Doiron, Manager of the BIA.

The two organizations are also in regular communication with the Prince Edward County Business & Economic Development Task Team, as well as staff in the newly re-named Municipal Community Services, Programs & Initiatives Department.

“We recognize the importance of working together for the benefit of all businesses in Prince Edward County. By coordinating our efforts, we can provide resources and results to our local business community,” said Lesley Lavender, Executive Director with The Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce. “We are also able to advocate on behalf of our members through our provincial organizations such as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario BIA Association.”

The PEC Chamber and the BIA are offering industry-focused meetings each Tuesday and Thursday at 10am over the course of the next few weeks to give business owners a chance to meet with their peers, discuss recovery initiatives, share success stories and best practices.

“These online video conferences are open to everyone. You can find the registration links on our respective websites and through social media,” said Lavender.

In addition, the organizations – with the help of volunteer Dale Mugford, collaborated to launch the BIA’s website. The website offers free business listings for Prince Edward County businesses, and is a one-stop spot for the community to find up-to-date information about restaurants offering takeout and delivery; businesses offering curbside pickup; and other adaptations and precautions.

“This site is meant to make it easy for the local consumer to do everything from plan their next grocery and pharmacy trip, to find out which businesses have e-commerce sites, or discover who is offering FaceTime shopping and other personalized services. The way that these local businesses have adapted is amazing, and it’s great to see the community rally around them,” says Doiron.

Going forward, Lavender and Doiron are discussing the creation of a coordinated local takeout campaign and are brainstorming other opportunities to support their membership and County businesses at large.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    What is being proposed is a natural step for the Municipality to take. I will be interested in seeing what we can provide for local business that the feds and the province haven’t already addressed. Keeping in mind too our limited tax base and the pressing fact that it will be more than just local businesses needing a helping hand once we are into the recovery mode – and that could still be months away!

  2. John says:

    A somewhat traditional approach – may be :-
    “A Think Tank Innovation Circle”
    To look at creative innovative strategies to both recovery and the big leap opportunities out of it
    Include not just local representatives but external creative thinkers
    The results could feed into a more robust strategic plan and positioning for the County

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