The City of Calgary has created a new support system for businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Business Sector Support Taskforce is chaired by Sonya Sharp, the leader of business and local economy for the city. Councillors Ward Sutherland, Peter Demong and Jyoti Gondek are also members of the group.
Ward 1 Coun. Ward Sutherland said the task force was created to listen and aid in the unique issues businesses are facing in the city.
“We have many of the different business sectors that are calling into meetings on a regular basis and giving us real-time information on what’s happening out in the market, and what the main concerns are with the businesses,” Sutherland said.
“With the task force, our job is to listen to the information and pass it forward to council, CEMA (Calgary Emergency Management Agency) and the mayor.”
Sutherland said that information is then passed on to the provincial and federal governments to aid in the creation of necessary programs for businesses.
LISTEN: Calgary creates taskforce to aid local businesses during COVID-19 pandemic
The task force has also created a centralized hub of information for local business owners.
“What we’re hearing right now is a lack of information. The businesses really don’t understand what’s going on,” Sutherland said.
“We’ve created an information hub for businesses that links them to everything they need to know and frequently asked questions.
“If you’re a small or large entrepreneur, you can get a lot of information from there.”
Sutherland said the website will be updated regularly to encompass the most recent updates from local, provincial and federal governments.
“Getting all the details can be challenging,” he said.
“That’s the purpose of the site, to get as many details as possible and to get the information up as fast as possible, so you don’t have to end up searching all over the place.”
Sutherland said the COVID-19 pandemic has created an uncertain time for many businesses in the city. He hopes this new initiative will help connect those businesses to everything they need to succeed moving forward.