Council endorses the next phase of the City's economic development response to COVID-19
March 1, 2022
The City of Vaughan remains committed to maintaining the competitiveness of the local economy throughout the global pandemic and beyond. On Feb. 15, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Members of Council took the next step in supporting the business community by endorsing Advantage Vaughan, Phase 3 of the City’s economic development response to COVID-19.
The plan builds off the momentum of the Vaughan Business Action Plan, approved in March 2020 as the first phase in the response efforts, and the Vaughan Business Resilience Plan, which began in June 2020.
Advantage Vaughan proposes a series of programs to support four strategic pillars of the economy, including:
This will entail enhancing programs, led by the Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre, to deliver training and mentorship to local small business owners; creating a new Talent City Vaughan program to support organizations providing opportunities for residents and vulnerable groups to enhance their skillsets; and providing additional resources to Recreation Services’ Fairs and Festivals Support Program to help strengthen in-person events when it is safe to hold them.
The City’s COVID-19 economic development response efforts to date have yielded ongoing and meaningful results for businesses, with the Economic Development team guided by three over-arching objectives: to provide the business community with the most up-to-date, relevant and reliable information possible concerning the pandemic and the economy, to help businesspeople navigate the various programs provided and decisions made by other levels of government and business support agencies, and to understand the impact of the pandemic on the business community. The Advantage Vaughan plan will enhance these objectives by continuing to position Vaughan as a leader region-wide, fostering economic opportunities and aligning the community with its peers to promote innovation.
“Throughout the global COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Vaughan has remained steadfast in our shared commitment to deliver Service Excellence by ensuring City business not only continued, but improved. Vaughan was the first city in Ontario and the first municipality in York Region to declare a state of emergency on March 17, 2020. We swiftly implemented alternate workplace arrangements for City staff. A Ready, Resilient, Resourceful Roadmap was created with key objectives and a strategic framework for the City’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 emergency. We immediately launched the Vaughan Business Action Plan to support local businesses, and transitioned counter services online to continue serving residents. Those are just a couple of examples of what being ready, resilient and resourceful is all about, and these are the values that have guided our efforts through these unprecedented times. I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to all members of our administration for demonstrating an unwavering commitment to support Vaughan’s businesses, engage and inform residents and safeguard the local economy. I have said from the beginning that we are all in this together, and now, Vaughan is emerging stronger than ever.”
- Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua
Despite the challenges of the global pandemic and national economic trends, the City of Vaughan remained an economic leader in 2020. Vaughan continued to account for nearly 40 per cent of York Region’s GDP throughout 2020 as home to nearly 19,000 businesses and more than 213,000 employees.
The city’s economy generated more than $22 billion in GDP, down from just over $24 billion in 2019, and continues to boast a diverse business community that is the basis of the city’s resilience -- no one industry accounted for more than 16 per cent of firms in the city.
Vaughan’s economy has proven itself resilient and diverse. Since 2010, more than 60,000 jobs have been created in Vaughan, driven by the development of critical centres, such as the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, and industries, including manufacturing, supply chain and logistics, and professional services. Vaughan is also a hub for entrepreneurship, with small businesses making up more than 85 per cent of firms in the city.
Since 2010, more than $15 billion in building permits have been issued by the City -- and the global COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed progress down.
In fact, Vaughan issued $1.875 billion in building construction value in the last year alone -- a significant investment into the community.
The Economic Development team continues to offer advisory consultations to entrepreneurs and businesses of all stages and sizes via tele- or video-conference, email and phone. For information, additional resources or to book a consultation, visit vaughanbusiness.ca.
To keep up with the City’s newest business resources and initiatives, sign up for the Economic Development department’s eNewsletter at vaughanbusiness.ca/enewsletters.