Mayor Ferguson announces new Economic Recovery Task Team

(Gazette file photo)


County of Prince Edward Mayor Steve Ferguson has announced the development of an Economic Recovery Team to help with the eventual reopening of the local economy.

The team includes representatives from a wide range of economic sectors, along with Ferguson and several councillors.

With representation across a range of economic sectors, the team has the broad perspective needed to chart a path of recovery from this pandemic outbreak,” said Ferguson. “I want to thank the members for agreeing to volunteer their time and lend their skills and insight to this important task.”

The recovery team includes:

  • Mayor Ferguson, Chair

  • Councillors Mike Harper, Phil St-Jean, Jamie Forrester, and Bill Roberts

    Councillor Mike Harper. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

  • Adam Busscher, Construction Sector

  • Alexandra Bake, Retail Sector

  • Rick Szabo, Hospitality Sector

  • Krista Dalby, Arts Sector

  • Sandy Latchford, Professional/Not for Profit Sector

  • Samantha Parsons, Value Added Agriculture/Manufacturing Sector

  • Nora Rogers, Accommodations Sector

  • Phil Prinzen, Agriculture Sector

  • Lesley Lavender, Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce

  • Sarah Doiron, Picton Business Improvement Association

The purpose of the team is to help identify needs as well as assist in the flow of communication, and prepare the municipality to respond to challenges with programs and activities that leverage support offered at the federal, provincial and regional levels.

While making sure the recovery is focused on the varied sectors of the local economy, the objective of the team will be to both develop a plan and supports that help the widest range of impacted businesses.

This will involve an understanding of the inter-relatedness of the local economy. According to the County’s press release, the need to lift up all will help to guide economic recovery.

Like many places, COVID-19 is taking a significant toll on the economy of Prince Edward County. The municipality has indicated that the recovery team will work to mitigate the impact and to ensure a sustainable path to recovery. They will also work to quickly identify economic needs.

The team will employ a phased approach toward economic recovery. A number of key objectives will frame their approach. That includes:

According to a recent press release by the County, the economic recovery will be broken down into the following phases:

  • Mitigation, or the period when the province is under a declared state of emergency. In the short term, it’s important to understand economic impact, assess business needs and develop urgent supports to keep the economy functioning as best it can in unprecedented times. Data and communication are key.

  • Restart, or the period immediately following the lifting of some or all restrictions. The aim in the medium term is to help businesses find the tools and supports to navigate a new way of doing business. Innovation is critical. The County will need to be nimble in leveraging available funding. Data and communication between stakeholders and sector groups will continue to be vital.

  • Reimagine is long-term and defined as the period following the immediate crisis. The opportunity exists to build back better. This is a chance to imagine a stronger, more resilient future with more economic diversification and new ways of defining and measuring success. Creativity and consultation will be important. A deep understanding of community values and future directions will be critical.

The County has noted that several key stakeholder audiences will be encouraged to participate and have the opportunity to be engaged in the process. The team will endeavour to build partnerships, be transparent and be inclusive while working together to develop plans and solutions to manage the effects of COVID-19.