The Government of Ontario will release its 2021 budget on March 24. The government is calling it the “Next phase of Ontario’s COVID-19 Action Plan” with a focus on protecting health and jobs. It’s going to support the province's vaccine distribution plan, provide additional resources for the health care sector, and support initiatives to protect the economic well-being of families, workers and employers.
The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce will provide an in-depth analysis of the budget and its impact on the local business community when it is released.
Missed the 2021 Power Hour? This year’s event went virtual and is available at peterboroughchamber.ca!
We brought together your local leaders — Warden J. Murray Jones, MP Maryam Monsef, MPP Dave Smith, and Mayor Diane Therrien — to take questions about what they’re working on for local businesses and the community as well as what they expect to see with our recovery from COVID-19 this year.
Tourism Task Force
The Ontario Government is launching a new task force to help the province’s $36
billion tourism industry recover from COVID-19. The Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force will provide expert advice and recommendations.
The mandate of the voluntary task force includes providing strategies and advice that will help position Ontario and its local communities as destinations of choice for travel, as well as identifying products and experiences that enhance destination
development. It will also offer a forum for sector partners and leaders to share ideas, collaborate, and provide advice and information to the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.
The tourism sector supports more than 400,000 jobs province-wide. Travellers from out-of-country were down 84% and tourism-related employment in Ontario declined by 13 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.
The task force is expected to deliver a report in spring.
Tourism this Summer?
The Ontario 2020 Budget, which was released in November 2020, called 2021 the “Year of the Ontario Staycation”, citing: “As a tourist, no matter what you are looking for, you’re likely to find it in Ontario. And that is good news, because regardless of the trajectory of COVID 19, it is likely that tourism travel within Ontario will be an option sooner than travel beyond our province’s border.”
The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce is consulting with local stakeholders and government representatives to figure out what local tourism-based businesses should be planning for this summer. The rollout of vaccines and general state of public health in Ontario will be a large
factor is in this planning.
Rural Economic Development Program
The Ontario government is investing $47,390 to support Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) in helping rural communities diversify their economies, retain skilled workers and create jobs. PKED’s project is one of 16 projects approved through the Rural Economic Development (RED) program providing nearly $800,000 in funding to support economic recovery in rural communities across Ontario.
The new funding will support the creation and modernization of tools to help connect local Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough food service providers and farmers with customers through a digital platform and increase local food production.