Economic Recovery Task Force adds new member

By Lindsay Advocate

The Economic Recovery Task Force touched on a variety of topics in its second meeting and outlined new strategies and plans to help spur business growth in Kawartha Lakes.

The meeting began with the appointment of its fourth community member: Tom Phillips, Chief COVID-19 Recovery Officer at Fleming College. Discussion then turned to options to waive business fees for 2020, streamlining Planning and Development processes and Economic Development’s new engagement strategy.

At Fleming College, Dr. Tom Phillips, an economist, has had roles ranging from member of the faculty to Vice-President of Academic Experience. A leader in development, Phillips has been a member of the Workforce Development Board for Peterborough, Northumberland, Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton, the Boards of Trent University, Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation and a variety of economic and social Boards in the area.

“I am honored to have been asked to join the Kawartha Lakes Economic Recovery Task Force,” said Phillips.

“It is a great opportunity for me to offer my perspective as an economist and from years of experience at Fleming College. More than addressing the immediate challenges, this is an opportunity to create new partnerships and alliances that will position Kawartha Lakes for growth and prosperity in the post-COVID-19 era.”

To help provide some immediate relief to small businesses as they reopen and get back on their feet, the Task Force is drafting a memorandum to waive small fees for 2020, including those associated with patios and Farmer’s Markets. This memorandum is being presented to Council on June 23.

A review of the approval process for Planning and Development applications is currently underway. A list of outstanding applications is being compiled for the next Task Force meeting, so they can be prioritized and the process can be streamlined. The Task Force is also looking at options to accelerate the Rural Zoning By-law Project in an effort to help simplify some of the smaller zoning applications.

Economic Development presented a draft engagement strategy that outlines how it plans to reach out to the various community groups in Kawartha Lakes to identify and address gaps that are impeding business. The strategy was approved by the Task Force and Economic Development will work through its initial contacts in the next few weeks.

“Our team is aligned and has gotten the ball rolling quickly, with new ideas to promote business already coming into fruition,” said Mayor Letham, Chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force.

“I’m happy to welcome Dr. Tom Phillips to the team as well. His understanding of the local economy and experience in development make him a valuable addition to our team.”

The Economic Recovery Task Force wants to hear from the public. Get engaged and provide feedback on Jump In, Kawartha Lakes and attend one of the Working Group meetings for specific sectors between June 22 to 30 by contacting .

The next Task Force meeting is scheduled for July 7. Tune in live on the City of Kawartha Lakes YouTube channel.

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