During the pandemic, the City helped local businesses find financial support, health and safety information and equipment to keep people working, and safe.
Working with Guelph Wellington Small Business Enterprise Centre, Innovation Guelph, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Guelph Business Association and many others, the City helps align and support business leaders, employers and agencies working to restore and rebuild Guelph’s local economy.
To support economic recovery programs in the region, the City supported the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin and engaged 60 business services organizations and employer representatives to address regional challenges and find opportunities for businesses as they reopen, resume or restart after the pandemic.
Guelph promoted the Workforce Planning Board’s new website, FindYourJob.ca to local employers and since it’s launch in 2020, the site had more than 138,000 unique visits and hosted 12,280 job postings as of March 2021.
The City helped facilitate a Cooperative Education Session with Conestoga College, University of Guelph, Upper Grand District School Board and Innovation Guelph. The session had 67 participants and several employers are now considering cooperative positions within their organizations. The City also offers grants for local employers that hire University of Guelph College of Arts graduates. The City continues supporting Guelph and Wellington secondary school students with information and resources they can use to find employment opportunities in the local labour market.
Guelph’s 2020 temporary patio program was well-received, and the City’s GuelphShops campaign promoting local businesses is still going strong. Guelph promoted several outdoor and online activities over the past year and Guelph’s economic development and tourism teams are fully immersed in recovery programs to help Guelph get back to work.
The City is expanding the seasonal patio program in 2021 and secured funding to promote hyper-local tourism; opportunities for residents to become tourists in our own town to support Guelph’s hard-hit arts, culture, entertainment, restaurant and tourism businesses recover from COVID-19.
Food is at the heart of Guelph-Wellington’s Grow Back Better Plan; an 18-month strategy designed to support local agri-food and social benefit sectors. This community-based collaborative work will create more sustainable and resilient food systems to address food insecurity today, and help us withstand future emergencies.
In 2020, Guelph-Wellington Our Food Future helped raise funds for local emergency food delivery programs, provided kits to get people growing food at home, and helped fund community-based urban agriculture projects. Local organizations received loans, tools and technology to help them reimagine their businesses as part of a circular food economy.