The North Simcoe Municipal Task force: Business Solutions was established as a sub-committee of the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe (EDCNS) on March 26, 2020. The task force is responding to community and economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic as a communication and support hub for all North Simcoe businesses.

Task force chair, EDCNS board member and Town of Midland Councillor, Cher Cunningham stated “It became obvious early on that we need a working group that communicates and collaborates in order to leverage individual efforts and avoid duplication. This task force will help stakeholders connect, create community-driven solutions, and inform decisions made by the many individuals and organizations involved in the communities.”

Yesterday, the task force hosted a virtual town hall with a panel of leaders in order to get the latest updates on business support and needs in the region. The recording is available for viewing at https://www.edcns.ca/virtual-town-hall-april-23-2020/. Watch for updates every Friday afternoon. You can send your questions in advance for consideration to ccunningham@midland.ca. If your question is not covered by the panel, a response will be sent to you directly.

COVID-19 is not only a public-health crisis, but an economic crisis as well. Businesses play a crucial role in our economy and our quality of life.  We appreciate the significant financial and emotional impacts on our local businesses right now. “We need to do our part to not only support them through this challenging time but also help ensure they have the resources to be sustainable and come out of this even stronger,” declares Township of Tiny Councillor and task force member Cindy Hastings.

All levels of government are working together to support our communities. Distilling and sharing these resources in a supportive way is essential. Gaps are appearing in the landscape of support that require capturing and advocating for. As well, local needs may differ from other regions. Our task force is working to capture local needs and identify ideas that may qualify for stimulus funding and projects.

The task force moved quickly into action to establish a communication hub for sharing the resources and updates of each of the initial founding organizations: Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe, North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation, municipalities of Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay and Tiny, the Midland BIA and the Southern Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce. Outreach to other local organizations and associations such as the Midland Business Women’s Association, Midland Penetanguishene District Builders Association, Huronia Community Foundations and the County of Simcoe is ongoing.

The communication hub starts at the new Business Support & Recovery 2020 portal on edcns.ca.  It provides updates from our local organizations as well as links to webinars, resources and funding opportunities available from all levels of government. Help is available by emailing Sharon Vegh at EDCNS svegh@edcns.ca  or the Chamber of Commerce. Also remember that though the offices are closed, your MP and MPP office staff are there to help via telephone or email.

In response to the shutdown of non-essential businesses the task force sees a need for one resource for identifying what businesses are open. It is collaborating with the County of Simcoe to compile and share this list in one location at https://experience.simcoe.ca/. If you know of a business that is missing from this list and is serving customers, EDCNS would like to hear from you. Send Véronique at EDCNS vpuderecki@edcns.ca the business name and link for details. She will ensure this gets added to the directory.

The task force continues to evolve and will be posting updates as they come in. Please bookmark the Business Support & Recovery 2020 page to obtain updates.