MISSISSAUGA: The City’s Economic Development Office (EDO) shared an update at General Committee last week detailing its progress to date in supporting Mississauga businesses.
The Economic Recovery Plan Implementation Update provides insights into the 42 actions identified in the City’s Economic Recovery Plans for Small Business and Broader Industry.
Approved by Council on September 23, 2020, the Small Business Economic Recovery Plan and the Broader Industry Economic Recovery Plan outline the City’s efforts to support Mississauga’s small businesses and broader industry sectors including Advanced Manufacturing, Financial Services, Information and Communications Technology, Life Sciences, Smart Logistics and others.
“There is no denying that our business community, in particular our small businesses, have faced a disproportionate burden during the pandemic. We recognize their sacrifices, and as a City we are doing everything we can to help them recover,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
“From helping businesses embrace digital technology to strongly advocating to our federal and provincial counterparts for meaningful relief and investment, we are fighting for Mississauga businesses at every turn.”
From the onset of the pandemic, Mississauga’s EDO moved quickly to respond to the urgent needs of the business community by delivering support, programs and services. As the focus shifted to recovery, the EDO team worked with the City’s Economic Resilience Task Force, which was appointed by Council to provide input and help shape necessary priorities and actions.
“The one constant in this pandemic is change. As such, we’ve tailored our recovery response every step of the way to reflect the evolving needs of our business community,” said Andrew Whittemore, Commissioner of Planning and Building.
“While our recovery efforts must adapt, our goal of achieving sustained, economic prosperity for all remains steadfastly unchanged.”
As of August 31, 2021, Mississauga’s small business community has benefited from recovery plan programs and initiatives such as:
• One-on-one free business consultations and expert advisory services that have helped 595 business owners access financial support, implement health and safety guidelines and pivot their business operations.
• Digital Mainstreet which saw EDO’s Digital Squad (in partnership with the Government of Ontario and Ontario Business Improvement Area Associations) help more than 240 businesses use the internet to reach new and existing customers.
• ShopHere Mississauga and #MississaugaMade (in partnership with Tourism Mississauga). Through ShopHere Mississauga more than 870 independent businesses and artists accessed resources to develop and launch an online store at no cost. More than 700 businesses are currently being promoted on the #MississaugaMade website.
• The Starter Company Plus program provided 18 grants and helped 37 new start-ups and existing small businesses and musicians. Grants were awarded to 12 entrepreneurial students as part of the Summer Company program to help them launch and operate a summer business.
In addition, the EDO team collaborated with the City’s Planning and Building Department on the temporary patio program and temporary Outdoor Business Permit By-law to help small businesses continue their operations when possible during lockdowns.
“Mississauga has an incredibly diverse business community with more than 98,000 businesses across a variety of sectors,” said Bonnie Brown, Director, Economic Development Office.
“By creating two economic recovery plans – one for small businesses and one for broader industry – we’ve been able to prioritize the actions that will help Mississauga businesses of all sizes reset and recover.”