Kingston city council get a first look at a draft plan to restart the local economy

Kingston city council met Tuesday to hear, in part, the initial report of the business response recovery plan — the blueprint that will guide the city toward economic recovery as the world continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19.

Via phone, Donna Gillespie, chief executive officer for the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO), presented a 23-page report entitled Responding to COVID-19.

The report outlines some of the steps the city will take, with direction from the provincial government.

“As we begin this presentation, I would like to underscore that … the report before you is a living document,” Gillespie said, “and one that will continue to evolve.”

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It was announced last week that the city’s economic recovery team would be led by Mayor Bryan Paterson, an economist himself.

Part of the report is the launch of a new digital campaign called Love Kingston.

“An important element of our direction is to support keeping local dollars in the community,” said Gillespie.

“We have created a campaign to encourage and assist Kingstonians in navigating an online Kingston. We need to rally the community to support immediate revenue generation to increase the survival rate of existing businesses.”

The document was released just a day after a small list of mostly seasonal businesses in Ontario that are allowed to reopen, as the spread of COVID-19 slows across the province.

A status update on activities by KEDCO will be presented to council in September, with the delivery of a long-term Economic Development Strategic Plan to be submitted to council by the end of the 4th quarter this year.

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