How can our municipality help keep our small businesses open?

Updated: Oct 20

This was a community question

There are a number of ways our local municipal councillors and staff can help support our local small businesses.

  • Find grants/funds available to support economic development through all levels of government as well as through various not-for-profits and organizations.

  • Build partnerships with local organizations, groups, and businesses to partner to apply for additional grants that support broader areas such as tourism, culture, and property development, as well as technology grants to help businesses boost their online presence.

  • Work with individuals, service groups, and other entities to encourage "Shop local.

  • Encourage the Waterloo Region Small Business Center to create a satellite location in Wilmot. They have been considering this for years but it hasn’t moved forward. They would offer business resources and free consultations.

  • We need to acknowledge that typical business struggles have most likely changed post covid and ensuring that our municipality does a detailed analysis of what businesses need in the short and long term is an important first step.

  • Run various job fairs in partnership with the University of Waterloo, Wilfred Laurier, and Conestoga College.

  • Develop a new Community Improvement Plan which can create incentive-based programming to assist the general business community as well as promote beautification, property improvements and economic development. Using the Community Improvement Plan, the Township can make grants available to property owners and businesses.

  • Our municipality needs to acknowledge that we do have a part to play in helping to attract employees for small businesses and need to plan for the future, which includes ensuring there is adequate housing, bus service, and childcare options near these places of employment. We also need to consider how welcoming our community is and support groups such as welcome wagon.

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Questions from SPECTRUM. Visit their website to see how other candidates responded (Their website still needs to be updated with my response).