COVID-19 Statement from the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation

Monday, March 23, 2020


The COVID-19 pandemic has, and will continue to, impact many aspects of life for all citizens of our region, province, country and world. The significant economic impact of the pandemic has changed the way we all do business. As the lead economic development agency for the Windsor-Essex region, the mandate of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WE EDC) has been to develop and execute strategies to retain, expand, attract and help new businesses start up in the Windsor-Essex region. However, in the face of a world-wide economic recession and drastic changes in the operating cashflow of all regional businesses, WE EDC must also change.
As of Monday, March 16th, WE EDC has shifted from a strategic focus on retention, expansion, attraction and start-up of business to an immediate focus on business sustainability. WE EDC has already mobilized strategies to help our regional businesses survive the immediate economic shock. As the region begins to understand ‘the new normal’ of commerce, WE EDC will work with partners to support our local businesses to return to pre-pandemic status with a long term mission of bringing economic prosperity to the entire Windsor-Essex region.
Immediate actions undertaken to support business sustainability:
a. The Task Force is comprised of business-facing associations and organizations.
b. The Task Force has established six committees, representing our key regional industries.
c. Each committee is chaired by the lead voice in that respective industry.
*** Appendix A provides committee structure
2. WE EDC, with input from Task Force members has created a COVID-19 Business Resources website and the Small Business Centre (SBC) has created a Helping Your Business Navigate COVID-19 website with more specific information targeted at the regions small businesses.
a. The websites are updated regularly and will provide local business key information from all levels of government.
b. The websites will evolve from the immediate term - - business sustainability, to the intermediate term - - economic re-building, to the long term - - economic prosperity.
3. WE EDC has assigned all staff members to prioritize sustainability of regional business.
a. Ongoing conversations with key foreign direct investment clients are being maintained and will be re-prioritized as the immediate crisis subsides.
4. WE EDC, Small Business Centre, and Workforce Windsor Essex have developed a Windsor-Essex COVID-19 Economic Impact Survey.
a. The feedback from the survey will be used by the Windsor Essex COVID-19 Economic Task Force to communicate immediately as well as the long-term needs to the provincial and federal governments.
In closing, please know that our entire team at the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation is focused on the economic well-being of our region. We are here to help and support you - our local businesses.
C. Stephen MacKenzie
President and CEO,
WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation
Task Force Chair & Secretariat: WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation
COVID-19 Economic Impact Survey Committee
Chair - Workforce WindsorEssex
Manufacturing Committee
Chair – Canadian Association of Mold Makers
Agriculture and Agri-food Committee
Chair – Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers
Logistics, Transportation and Cross Border Issues Committee
Chair – Institute for Border Logistics and Security
Hospitality and Tourism Committee
Chair- Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island
Professional Services & Retail Committee
Chair – Windsor Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce