The meeting included a presentation on the current state of Chatham-Kent, actions taken by the municipality up to this point, and an outline of the task force. In addition, with over 200 people in attendance, there was an opportunity for interactive sharing of thoughts and ideas that helped share a look forward to next steps.
“We had a lot of great feedback from the business community and there were some key points made during the discussion,” said John Norton, Director of Community Development. “We heard loud and clear that we need to look at improving Internet access across Chatham-Kent, that we need to ensure our municipality is operating efficiently while still providing the services that the community wants, and that small businesses need our help to get them through this tough time.”
Norton added, “Specifically, businesses are asking for training on digital tools, help with workforce, and understanding the options in place that make it easier to manage their cash flow. These are all great points and have been identified as important actions to help businesses be able to plan for their recovery.”
During the presentation it was identified that there would be nine task force sector-specific sub-groups formed. The sub-groups include:
- Professional Services
- Agriculture and Food Processing
- Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- Property, Real Estate, and Construction
- Utilities, Communications, and Information Technology
- Not-for-Profit and Social Enterprise
- Logistics, Transport, and Warehousing
- Hospitality, Tourism, Restaurants, and Arts
Each group will meet to assess sector needs, identify how businesses and networks can work together, and discuss how all levels of government can help Chatham-Kent’s economy.
“The reality is that we don’t have all of the answers right now, but together, as a community, we can work to find the made-in-Chatham-Kent solutions that are needed. It is essential that businesses have a voice and are involved in the process,” said Chatham-Kent Mayor, Darrin Canniff. “Together we are stronger, and together we will come out of this challenging time and get Chatham-Kent back on a path for growth.”
There is an open call to the community to apply and volunteer with the task force and sub-groups. Applications must be submitted by noon on Monday, April 20, 2020. You can find a link to the application online at www.investck.ca.
A Word Cloud from the input received this morning during the task force discussion using the ThoughtExchange online application.
Marketing and Communications Officer
Economic Development Services, Community Development
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
124 Thames Street, Chatham, ON N7M 5K8
Phone: 519.352.8401 x2039