Task Force will generate industry-led recommendations to support business recovery from COVID-19

Cobourg, ON – May 12, 2020 – An industry-led task force is under development with a mandate to deliver initial recommendations by June 4 on actions to support the recovery of local businesses post-COVID-19.

The Northumberland Economic Recovery Task Force is being convened by Northumberland County and chambers of commerce – in close collaboration with representatives of higher education, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, construction, small business and the professional community from across the county – to inform local focus in responding to the evolving economic impacts of the pandemic. Recommendations will be actioned by industry as well as shared with local municipal councils and submitted to the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee consultations.

Members of the Task Force will include local business owners and leaders along with municipalities, chambers of commerce, industry associations and agencies, health authorities and the education sector. Informing the Task Force will be six working groups that focus on targeted sectors including micro and small business, manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, professional, and development/construction.

Engaging industry stakeholders from across Northumberland, the Task Force will collect data about business owner needs, identify and implement synchronized response actions, programs and services, and advocate with all levels of government for effective recovery measures. Inaugural meetings will begin this week and will take place weekly as participants contribute knowledge and expertise to the formation of recommendations.


“With employee and community health and safety being of foremost importance, our local businesses continue to do their part to follow government and health authority direction during COVID-19. As we move in the direction of restarting our economic engines, this grass-roots collaboration will inform local and provincial recovery plans with recommendations that reflect the direct impacts of the pandemic on the Northumberland business community. We will be proposing locally-developed actions in response to local conditions in order to drive meaningful outcomes.” Brendan Cunneen, senior business executive and Task Force Co-Chair

“This Task Force will bring a wealth of expertise and perspective to bear on the unprecedented operational and financial challenges currently facing local businesses. By leveraging valuable insight from stakeholders about the definitive economic impacts of the pandemic, we will develop an action plan of tools and advocacy to support our local businesses as they navigate the current environment. We will also continue to collaborate with neighbouring communities to support a shared vision for economic stabilization and sustainability. Our community is resilient. We will move together in the direction of recovery and renewal.” Dan Borowec, Northumberland County Director of Economic Development, Planning and Strategic Initiatives and Task Force Co-Chair

“All areas of our local economy have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. Our residents and businesses have been diligent in following public health direction, and as we see positive signals emerging that the community’s efforts are flattening the curve, it is vital that we also dedicate focus to planning and actioning a cohesive community response to the economic fall-out from this pandemic. As an industry-led initiative, this Task Force will deliver important insight directly from our local business community about the pressures they are facing, the short-term measures that would have an immediate helpful impact and the longer-term initiatives that will support local economic recovery. This is a critical effort as we collectively work to position Northumberland for a thriving future.” Bob Sanderson, Northumberland County Warden and Task Force member

“I am confident in the critical work the Northumberland Economic Recovery Task Force will provide towards helping develop a plan that gets our communities on the road to recovery. The Task Force will provide vital feedback to our government on local needs and priorities, better positioning businesses in our communities for economic recovery. I am proud of the Team Ontario approach taken by Northumberland County and our local Chambers of Commerce and have enjoyed working with them on this initiative. It is critical that we lean on our job creators and private sector for their innovative ideas and direct input. I look forward to receiving the initial recommendations from the Task Force.” David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South.

For information about the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, and how to submit feedback to the current consultation, visit the Government of Ontario's Reopening Ontario After COVID-19 page.

Northumberland County continues to provide updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as related service changes and facility closures, at our COVID-19 page. For COVID-19-related resources for businesses, visit the BECN website.