Barrie City Hall crafts plan to guide economic recovery following COVID shutdown

Economic Recovery Action Plan is the second in a three stage plan for long-term recovery

After extensive consultation, the City of Barrie has handed down a plan it hopes will help guide the economic recovery of the city.

The Economic Recovery Action Plan was given initial approval by council on Monday evening and is designed to support the local economy by taking several key actions. They include supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in the city, supporting the downtown, bolstering the city’s arts and culture community, beefing up local digital capacity, and providing a business recovery kit filled with tools to support local business. The city is also expected to take on a role as an advocate for capital funds, pushing both the federal and provincial governments into ongoing monetary support.

City Hall’s Economic Recovery Plan is the second of three stages to aid the city’s recovery

“Developed in record time – roughly 4 weeks – the Economic Recovery Plan has been built to address immediate opportunities to provide support to the Barrie Economy,” said Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman. “Developed through extensive consultation with the business community – more than 150 businesses, thought leaders, and organizations contributed – it lays out actions for six identified priority areas of the economy: Tourism, Service, Construction, Manufacturing, Arts and Culture, and Downtown Barrie.”

Over 150 local businesses and organizations participated in consultation

The Economic Recovery Action Plan is the second of three steps the city plans to take to support recovery. The first was the Barrie Business Response Plan, which included steps that immediately supported businesses through the crisis. The third step is expected later this year, and will be one of resiliency; the city plans to address the strategic issues in the economy and take on longer-term initiatives in this stage of recovery.

Council voted to put $50,000 towards this plan, with an expectation of a progress update in three months’ time.

The Economic Recovery Action Plan is available online.