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Mayor names members of COVID-19 economic recovery team

Mayor Steve Ferguson

Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson has announced the members of the municipality’s COVID-19 economic recovery team.

“With representation across a range of economic sectors, the team has the broad perspective needed to chart a path of recovery from this pandemic outbreak,” he said. “I want to thank the members for agreeing to volunteer their time and lend their skills and insight to this important task.”

The team includes:
Mayor Ferguson, Chair
Councillors Mike Harper, Phil St-Jean, Jamie Forrester and Bill Roberts
Adam Busscher, Construction Sector
Alexandra Bake, Retail Sector
Rick Szabo, Hospitality Sector
Krista Dalby, Arts Sector
Sandy Latchford, Professional/Not for Profit Sector
Samantha Parsons, Value Added Agriculture/Manufacturing Sector
Nora Rogers, Accommodations Sector
Phil Prinzen, Agriculture Sector
Lesley Lavender, Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce
Sarah Doiron, Picton Business Improvement Association

The 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.

COVID-19 is taking a significant toll on the economy of Prince Edward County. Key objectives are to frame the actions of the team as three phases of economic recovery will be considered:

Mitigation, or the period when the province is under a declared state of emergency. In the short-term, understanding economic impact, assessing business needs and developing urgent supports to keep the economy functioning as best it can in unprecedented times. Data and communication are key.

Restart, or the period immediately following the lifting of some or all restrictions. The aim in the medium term is to help businesses find the tools and supports to navigate a new way of doing business.

“Innovation is critical,” said Ferguson. “The County will need to be nimble in leveraging available funding. Data and communication between stakeholders and sector groups will continue to be vital.”

Re-imagine is long-term and defined as the period following the immediate crisis.
“The opportunity exists to build back better. This is a chance to imagine a stronger, more resilient future with more economic diversification and new ways of defining and measuring success. Creativity and consultation will be important. A deep understanding of community values and future directions will be critical.”

Work will focus on varied economic sectors of the local economy. The Recovery Team’s objective will be to develop a plan and supports that help the widest range of impacted businesses.
“Understanding the inter-relatedness of the local economy and the need to lift up all will help to guide economic recovery.”

The mayor said the team will build partnerships, work together, be transparent and inclusive in their approach to developing plans and solutions.

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