We know that flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases can only happen as a community; the same is also true for the recovery of our local economy.
With that in mind, the City of Wetaskiwin’s economic development department – in partnership with the Leduc Regional Chamber of Commerce – is exploring how to best support business resilience in the days and months ahead. Local resources are available to help businesses navigate the days and weeks ahead, and the City’s economic development team want to hear about what they need.
“We’re reaching out to every business in the community as a check-in. We want to see what their needs are and hope to provide information about resources available at local, regional, provincial and federal levels,” explains Candace Coughlan, Wetaskiwin’s Manager of Economic Development. “We also understand each business has varying needs and timelines, which is why we are also encouraging business owners to reach out to us as well when they are available to do so. We remain committed to supporting our business community to the best of our ability.”
The resources local businesses can access include marketing and training from the Leduc and Wetaskiwin Regional Chamber of Commerce, business relief from the City of Wetaskiwin, and an overview of available provincial and federal business supports.
Four-tier strategy for building resilience
Coughlan presented the department’s Economic Disaster Mitigation and Business Resilience Strategy to Wetaskiwin City Council on Tuesday, April 7. Created from current feedback and forward-thinking initiatives, the business resilience strategy received unanimous support from Council.
Based on immediate need, the City has cancelled water disconnections and penalties on utilities, has temporarily suspended enforcement of the plastic bag ban, and will consider noise control permits for businesses having to run outside of normal hours to accommodate safe work practices during COVID-19.
Discussion of amending fees for intermodal containers has been postponed to year’s-end, and this Tuesday (April 14) Council will discuss a proposed deferment of property taxes and business license enforcement, Coughlan says, noting the department is also considering an economic impact assessment of the impact of COVID-19 once the pandemic has subsided.
The strategy employs four tiers which aim to alleviate some of the immediate financial strain on local businesses, help them plan for resilience and mitigate the long-term economic effects of the pandemic:
- Clear dissemination of information
- Outreach and individual business case support
- Wetaskiwin economic supports during COVID-19
- Post-pandemic preparation
During the course of the socioeconomic shut-down associated with efforts to combat the virus, this strategy will be immediately deployed by the department of economic development in support of local business continuity.
Visit online to learn more about Wetaskiwin’s supports for local business, including a variety of tips to help businesses build resiliency.