Recapping the Pandemic Response and Recovery Webinar


On Tuesday September 29th, OMAFRA hosted the “Retooling for Economic Recovery Webinar”. Topics centred on economic development programs and tools can be used to enhance economic recovery efforts. The webinar covered the following areas:

  • Leadership & Economic Recovery Teams
  • Using Data to Guide Recovery
  • Altering Business Retention & Expansion During a Pandemic

Below are some key takeaways from the webinar:

Leadership & Economic Recovery Teams: While engaging an economic recovery team or planning for economic recovery, it is important to:

  • Understand what has worked in previous economic downturns
  • Understand what their role is in recovery

It is vital for community leaders to support local businesses by connecting them to the right opportunities and resources that lead to success. Complex issues require coordinated responses; thus industry, community and local government must cooperate and work in the same direction in order to achieve desirable outcomes leading out of the pandemic.

Using Data to Guide Recovery: COVID-19 has compounded the large amount of data that is accessible. Using data to inform and measure the outcomes of economic decisions will make them more effective, ultimately speeding up the recovery process. In addition to typical data sources such as Statistics Canada and local sources such as County Profiles, there is an opportunity to leverage supplementary sources with current data, such as Deloitte and CD Howe Institute dashboards.

Altering Business Retention & Expansion During a Pandemic: Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) is a core component of economic recovery. Communities are making changes to their BR+E process and approach, recognizing that some elements need to be adjusted to suit the current environment. For example, non-traditional partnerships have been established with health units, research facilities, and emergency operations to ensure that timely and accurate information relating to the pandemic is relayed to businesses.

Karisa Downey (Economic Development Officer, Dufferin County) shared key BR+E takeaways as a guest presenter. She highlighted some of the modifications the Dufferin BR+E project team made to the typical BR+E process in order to ensure success. For instance, how being flexible during data collection and making adjustments on-the-fly can help combat survey fatigue among business owners.

Learn more about the “Retooling for Economic Recovery” webinar and view the full slideshow below.

Click here for a direct link to the slide deck.


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