Helping our local economy recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic is of paramount importance. I have been proud to serve on the Recover Richmond Hill Task Force in order to help facilitate this recovery. The Task Force recently released is recommendations to Council and it was passed unanimously.
The intention of these recommendations is to help drive and stimulate a quick economic recovery. The Recover Richmond Hill Action Plan can be viewed here. The Plan outlines 10 actions the City is taking to help Richmond Hill businesses thrive in the post-pandemic environment.
Innovation and entrepreneurship feature prominently in the plan, which includes:
- Providing micro-grants of up to $5000 each to help small businesses implement recovery plans. The program runs in partnership with York Region and the province of Ontario.
- Launching a Municipal Business Innovation Contest and Innovation Showcase, providing small businesses an opportunity to partner with the City of Richmond Hill on innovative products and services.
- Creating a Local Innovation Centre to support entrepreneurs, incubate new businesses and accelerate business investment.
- Developing a Shop Local campaign including a Shop Safe Downtown program, in partnership with the Richmond Hill Board of Trade and the Village of Richmond Hill BIA to encourage residents to shop local and in the historic downtownhttps://www.richmondhill.ca/en/help-for-businesses.aspx
Richmond Hill Council also passed a Temporary Use By-law to pave the way for local restaurants and cafés to create or expand outdoor patio space to welcome patrons back safely. Restauranteurs can visit RichmondHill.ca/Patios to learn how to quickly gain approval for their outdoor space.
Throughout the pandemic, staff have been providing one-on-one support through more than 350 consultations with the local business community and online resources. As part of the action plan, the City will also be establishing a business support hotline over the next few weeks to help connect businesses with reopening and recovery programs.