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Coronavirus: City of Kawartha Lakes recovery task forces underway

A coronavirus pandemic-related sign on a business in downtown Lindsay, Ont.
A coronavirus pandemic-related sign on a business in downtown Lindsay, Ont. Paul Dinsdale / Global News

Following weeks of planning, the City of Kawartha Lakes is now taking a hard look at recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

It has two recovery task forces: the economic recovery task force and the community pandemic recovery task force.

On the economic recovery side, the group, which includes the mayor, members of council and appointed community members, is tasked with helping the business community recover.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — City of Kawartha Lakes projects $3.2 million revenue loss in 2020 due to pandemic

In early May, the economic development team conducted two surveys.

One was considered to be scientific and focused on 179 local businesses in specific sectors, while the other was an online survey that was open to any business in the municipality.

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Between the two surveys, 502 businesses responded.

“Most of them saw a decrease in their business activity,” said Rebecca Mustard, manager of economic development for the municipality.

“There have been a few businesses who saw an increase in their business activity. Almost every business has been impacted in some way and has had to change how they do business.”

The findings of the surveys, which will go to the task force before being released publicly, will help form one of the components of recovery.

“It gives the task force and the Team Kawartha Lakes organization a pretty good indicator of where we can jump in and provide connections or access to resources or directly support businesses,” Mustard said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Several businesses in the City of Kawartha Lakes adapt to survive

A total of 250 businesses, or approximately half of the survey respondents, requested followup from the economic development team.

“We’ve been spending the last couple of weeks following up,” added Mustard. “Some of them were just looking for connections. Some were looking for more in-depth navigating of different systems or some business consultation resources.

“Recovery needs to be done safely and needs to be done well. The end goal is recovery.”

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Working groups will form, and community members representing the business community will be appointed at the first task force meeting on June 2.

“We’re going to put a game plan together on who’s going to work on what area and working groups,” said Mayor Andy Letham. “We’re going to hit the ground running pretty hard on that one.”

Letham said the task force will then meet with the economic development team shortly afterwards to firm up the working groups.

“They’re going to be a big part of putting the groups together,” he said.