ED Corner – March 2021

Puzzle

Be part of the solution. I can’t for the life of me remember the exact saying, but the “be part of the solution” is the crux of the message. COVID-19 has presented a huge problem for many of you. The challenges you face range from being shuttered, to capacity limits, to keeping top-of-mind with customers – both current and potential.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been working with individual stakeholders, sector associations, and all levels of government to provide solutions to safe visitation. Many sectors and individual businesses have developed protocols that demonstrate how guests will remain safe while visiting (and spending money). The protocols have been distributed through the various health units and I believe have had some affect on decisions, including the most recent one to allow small retailers to reopen.

The CCT Board and staff recognize that there are additional expenses required to provide solutions to keep guests and staff safe. To that end, we were able to rework the budget to develop a Business Support Program. The good news is that it was wildly popular and CCT was able to partner with over 50 stakeholders on projects that keep them safely engaged with their guests. The bad news is that the entirety of the program funds has been subscribed already and the program is closed. The amount of investments being made by businesses throughout Central Counties is a testament to the resiliency of the industry and owners’ belief in the products and services they provide.

And while that fund is depleted, we are already looking ahead to our 2021-2022 fiscal with the launch of the annual Partnership Program. We applaud everyone who is looking for ways to invest to keep the doors open and their guests engaged. If you have a project in mind for the upcoming year, please click here to read about the program and if you have any questions, please send me an email at cthibeault@centralcounties.ca.

I wanted to end by calling attention to Canada’s Wonderland and the Markham Fair Grounds, who are taking “be part of the solution” to the next level by offering their locations as mass vaccine sites. Wonderland is one of the businesses that has not been permitted to reopen (although during a call with Minister MacLeod last week, she said she has a cabinet order to come up with a solution for amusement and water parks – which is great news). Based on consistent research findings, Wonderland knows that as more people get vaccinated, there is a big increase with people’s comfort level going out in public. That translates to more people coming to Wonderland. Markham Fair Grounds is in the same boat. They know that all of the events they host and the annual fair are at risk if people can’t meet in person.

By providing their spaces for mass vaccinations, they are not only helping themselves, but they are also helping all businesses in the region and truly being part of the solution. And I just remembered the whole saying:  “If you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” That doesn’t really fit the current situation we are all in because the problem stems from something outside of our control. So, since I am not going to rewrite this entire intro, let’s stick to the “solution” part of it and celebrate the fact that all of your efforts to safely engage your guests are collectively creating solutions that make people more comfortable going out and visiting places.

I am looking forward to reading your ideas for new partnership projects.

 

Have a great day!

Chuck