Support Local Businesses to Reopen, Rebound and Grow

Published on May 07, 2020

The May MPP column in Community Voice  

The Ontario Government is providing a full range of programs and services to help the province’s business community reopen. Businesses are encouraged to review the information at https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-support-businesses.

For Ontario’s business community, indeed for Canadian and North American business, there are multiple challenges in jump-starting the economy. Last month the Ontario Government began planning for the recovery phase from COVID-19. A special committee of Cabinet – the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee – is focusing on supporting workers, families and businesses in the near term, and growing Ontario’s economy over the longer term.

Locally, we are looking at every way to help our business community. As the Province plans to ease business restrictions, I hope residents will think first and foremost about supporting our local business community. Buy at your neighbourhood retailer and small business. Consider Ottawa’s many medium- and larger-sized businesses for your manufactured goods and contract services. Please support our local farmers and agri-food businesses.

I will be working with the local business community to bolster its efforts in rebounding and, ultimately growing from the COVID-19 experience. You may recall my “Shop Local” campaign in Kanata and West Carleton that I promoted in November and December. In the months ahead I am going to build on this idea; I have started a “Buy Local” awareness campaign that will run through 2020. My Community Office will be coordinating “Buy Local” activities and I encourage both businesses and residents to check the news section of my website for the latest news regarding local business interests.

I also plan to work with local business groups as they assist businesses and industries to adapt to new work conditions. We need to ensure small- and medium-sized businesses leverage the programs and services provided by the three levels of government to make our business community stronger. We also want to ensure our local businesses take full advantage of new networks and opportunities that will develop as our community adjusts and resumes its daily activities. And I look forward to working with associations like the Kanata North Business Association and the Ottawa Board of Trade to help champion our local businesses beyond our regional borders.

It has been a very trying time for everyone – including our local business owners and the many employees who work in Kanata and West Carleton. However, with our community’s support, I am confident local businesses can and will successfully rebound – and prosper.