A message from the Muskoka Lakes and Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce:
The Muskoka Lakes and Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce have been working with District staff and councillors since March to obtain money to fill a gap that we were seeing through our survey results and conversations with our Chamber Members.
Early in the 10-week process, we called upon David Brushey from Muskoka Futures to help build a strong team to get this done. We know from having worked with Muskoka Futures that they have an excellent track record with economic development lending, and have supported businesses in Muskoka for the last 32 years. We know they have the necessary governance, accountability, processes and infrastructure in place to effectively manage the Muskoka Business Recovery Fund in partnership with the District of Muskoka.
During the weeks the ask grew to not only a Response Fund but also a Recovery Committee. We saw there was not a united voice helping guide the businesses and our Muskoka community through these times. We identified that a committee needs to be struck to unite our rebuild plans and have a strong voice to all levels of government.
We are proud our fellow Chambers (Gravenhurst, Port Sydney, Huntsville and South East Georgian Bay) came on board to support the fund and committee which we believe helped in passing these initiatives through District Council yesterday. We also appreciate the ongoing guidance of Stuart Morley of Parry Sound Muskoka Community Network.
Not only were we advocating at the District level, but also to all levels of Government. Three weeks ago, the Government of Canada heard Chambers from across the country who also identified this gap and the government allocated money that will be distributed to all through Futures Organizations like Muskoka Futures. This District money will enhance Muskoka Futures share to help ensure no business in our community gets left behind.