Business Input Outlines Local Economic Challenges and Achievements
2020 was a difficult year for Gravenhurst businesses. Through the Annual Business Retention and Expansion Survey, a data driven impact of COVID-19 on the Gravenhurst business community was developed. This snapshot of local insights is being used to monitor trends and create programs to support and sustain local community growth and development. 2020 saw the creation of the business support hotline and further improvements to workforce development programs as a result of the previous data collected.
“The municipality is committed to helping our business community during this challenging time,” said Mayor Paul Kelly. “The data collected through this survey will continue to assist in providing targeted programming to those who need it the most. I want to thank all those surveyed for your candid participation,” Mayor Kelly added.
In addition to the Annual Business Survey, a COVID-19 Business Impact Report was also provided to Council this year to highlight general economic impacts of the pandemic on the community. This Report traces the state of affairs from the beginning to the end of 2020. The intent is to focus directly on the pandemic effects on local businesses. As stated in the report, it is expected that the overall impacts of COVID-19 will create lasting changes (both positive and negative). The data found in this report will allow economic development efforts, both short and long term, to adjust appropriately.
“Adapting to the pandemic was the number one challenge for businesses this year, pushing the concerns such as workforce and seasonality much lower on the list,” summarized Jeff Loney, Manager of Economic Development. “Despite challenges over the last year, businesses remain positive about what the future will bring and continue to show their ability to adapt and persevere. We look forward to a resilient business community that has the opportunity to come out of the pandemic improved and more confident!”
The information gathered from these reports are typically used in investment attraction, business continuity planning and marketing efforts. The information collected will also be used for advocacy to upper levels of government and regional recovery planning for businesses in 2021.
This years’ reports, as well as previous annual reports, can be found under the “Doing Business” section on the Town’s website, or go to www.gravenhurst.ca/BusinessReport