New strategies focus on local economic and downtown recovery

October 20, 2021

The City of Winnipeg and a coalition of downtown business organizations have released two separate, but complementary, strategies dealing with economic recovery and supporting the revitalization of downtown.

The City’s COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan proposes a two-year plan for how the civic government can help the local economy recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

Included are several initiatives that were recommended by The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, including an extension of the temporary patio permit program, continuing with the 15-minute curbside pickup zones outside some downtown businesses, adopting a digital-first approach to service delivery, focusing on red tape reduction, and accelerating the servicing of Airport Area West.

The plan also includes:

  • Continuing the increase in the business tax exemption threshold.
  • Waiving permit fees for street closures for festivals and block parties.
  • Investing incremental permit revenue into improving service standards within the permits department.
  • Removing barriers to bidding opportunities through streamlined and improved contract language
  • Increasing the number of under-represented group members as new employees at the City of Winnipeg.

If the plan is approved by council, the City would also provide $30 million in cash and tax-increment financing to support the new Downtown Recovery Strategy which is being developed by area BIZ organizations, CentreVenture and Tourism Winnipeg.

Earlier this week, the group released a high-level framework setting the parameters for a detailed medium-term recovery strategy for downtown. The framework lays out three principles— The Local Economy, Social Inclusion, and Arts and Culture— for targeted action and investment along 5 strategic “streams” for revitalization: Revitalizing Places, Energizing Spaces, Supporting People, Living Downtown, and Building Business. The full Downtown Recovery Strategy will be released later this year.

For more information about the City’s COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan – https://bit.ly/3DZnpsY

For information about the Downtown Recovery Framework – https://bit.ly/3pjrqUQ