News Release

Milton’s Economic Recovery Task Force convened virtually this week to discuss the economic recovery progress and federal business relief programs, and to address future needs as local businesses move through the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

The task force was joined by Rachel Bendayan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, who spoke about the COVID-19 response-focused Speech from the Throne. Ms. Bendayan highlighted the federal government’s commitment to restart the economy and to continue listening to the evolving needs of business owners.

“Thank you to Adam van Koeverden for coordinating Ms. Bendayan’s participation in the latest Task Force meeting,” said Mayor Gord Krantz. “I would also like to acknowledge Ms. Bendayan, the Ministry of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade and the federal government for their collective, ongoing support for our local businesses and Milton’s economic recovery. Businesses have shown incredible resiliency and adaptation during the pandemic and I thank them for sharing feedback that continues to help improve government-led business relief programs like CEWS, CEBA, CERB and CECRA, as well as inform recovery strategies for all levels of government.”

On Sept. 24, the federal government extended the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, a program that has helped many businesses in Milton retain and rehire staff throughout the pandemic. Many local businesses, including welding certification company CWB Group, have benefitted from this program. CWB has been able to provide free training programs and assistance to workers laid-off during COVID, allowing them to retool and upgrade their skillsets.

The region-wide Business Impact Survey results were also presented at this week’s Task Force meeting. Launched in August 2020, this second snapshot survey helped the Town of Milton and Region of Halton better understand the local impacts of COVID-19 and the measures that would best assist businesses in economic recovery.

The survey collected over 1,000 responses with nearly 15 per cent of responses coming directly from Milton’s small business community, hit particularly hard by temporary closures as a result of the pandemic. The survey results reinforce that the biggest challenges facing Milton businesses continue to surround the overall economic uncertainty, losses in revenue, cash flow, reduced hours, as well as staffing and temporary lay-offs. Since reopening, a third of businesses reporting temporary layoffs have now rehired employees or brought on new staff. The survey also determined that many business owners are now focusing on permanent changes to their existing service and delivery models in a post-COVID economy. These changes include integrating new technology, moving more services online and making modifications to physical space.

The Milton Economic Recovery Task Force is represented by a variety of sectors, four levels of government and academia. Inputs from this group are critical as Milton positions itself to best support local businesses accelerate recovery efforts. The task force convenes regularly to focus efforts on strategies for a post-COVID economy in Milton and provide recommendations to Town of Milton staff.

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