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Council Approves $250K in Earmarked COVID-19 Funding for Main Street Business Support During Special Meeting

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During a Special Meeting of Council on Aug. 13, your City Council unanimously approved $125,000 in funds as a COVID-19 expense to support main street businesses and complement the provincial government’s Digital Main Street and Provincial Safe Restart COVID-19 programs.

Council is also requesting that the Region of Halton match the City of Burlington’s contribution of $125,000 and earmark these funds to support main street businesses in Burlington.

We also approved an additional $125,000 to be earmarked for an immediate and timely small business relief grant program for COVID-19 reopening costs.

This grant program is subject to criteria — still to be defined — to ensure broad equality and eligibility that meets the intent of the Municipal Act to prevent municipalities from giving unfair assistance to business to the detriment of the local taxpayers and competing businesses.

The program is not contingent on funding from Halton Region, while still requesting that the Region match the City of Burlington’s additional contribution of $125,000 for an immediate and timely small business relief grant program for COVID-19 reopening costs.

For all the recommendations approved during the Aug. 13 Special Council Meeting, please click this link for the minutes.

To learn of the recommendations approved at our Regular Meeting of Council on Aug. 24, please click this link for the minutes.

MY TAKE:

Our local businesses, particularly our small businesses, have been hit hard as a result of the fallout from COVID-19. It is our hope that this funding, together with what the Province is offering and hopefully what the Region will match, will help our shops weather this storm and continue to be there when we reach the other side of this pandemic. I will also be working with City Council, Team Burlington and Burlington Economic Recovery Network on an advocacy campaign to the Province and Region regarding funding for small business relief.

RELATED LINKS:

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

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6 thoughts on “Council Approves $250K in Earmarked COVID-19 Funding for Main Street Business Support During Special Meeting”

  1. Thanks for your reply John but it is the wrong answer.
    You do realize that there is four Government agencies that tax and only one taxpayer,
    And all monies come from the tax payer base.

    I do not object to helping out business but it should not be a gift and should not be only the downtown area.
    It should be payed back interest free over time as a cost to do business. Most of the establishments have increased their prices saying it is because of the virus so are they double dipping?

    I sure would like a gift of some magnitude to make my life a little easier.

  2. John,

    Of course it is taxpayers’ money! Where else would the provincial and federal governments get it?

    Why did council see the need to give money to private “Main street” businesses?

    Which streets are considered “main” for the purpose of this grant?

    Which businesses are getting this money?
    How is it being used?

    Much more info required!

    Thanks!

  3. Will this money be a gift or will it be repaid over a certain time ? This is tax money that comes out of tax increases that residents especially seniors will have to pay.

    1. Hi Bruce, this is John Bkila, the Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist. This funding will be listed as a COVID-19 expense. Thankfully, the City has received funding from the federal and provincial levels of government to assist municipalities cover costs incurred by the pandemic. This program has no impact on the tax base and isn’t funded through taxes. Thank you for commenting on the Mayor’s website.

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Marianne Meed Ward

Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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Phone: 905-335-7607
Email:  mayor@burlington.ca

Media Specialist: John Bkila
john.bkila@burlington.ca
905-335-7600