Town of Canmore

Economic Recovery Plan

Hard economic times call for a strong strategic plan for recovery. The Town of Canmore's Economic Recovery Plan focuses on business retention and survival during and post-pandemic to help our local economy bounce back with resilience.

Updated - September 11, 2020

Business Recovery Task Force - IN PROGRESS
The Business Recovery Task Force will address and respond to business needs. It will include diverse members of our business community, Town Council, and the CBA. The mandate of the task force will also be to develop recommendations to support the return to work of Canmore’s workforce; to support business operations in the recovery efforts and future growth, and to identify opportunities to propel our community beyond the recovery stage.

Councillor McCallum and Mayor Borrowman will sit on the task force as the Council representatives.

Click here to view the selected Task Force members
Economic Development Webinar Series - ON HOLD UNTIL FALL 2020
Economic Development has partnered with local and regional industry experts to facilitate a weekly webinar series that addresses concerns derived from the Business Needs Survey and direct conversations with business owners. As part of the Economic Recovery Plan, $10,000 from tax stabilization will make the continuation of this series possible to include topics relevant to supporting the re-opening of Canmore’s businesses.

The webinar series is on hold until Fall 2020. Click here to watch our past webinars
Labour Force Retention, Attraction, and Development - IN PROGRESS
To support our business community, we will develop a comprehensive strategy to address the various challenges associated with recruitment, retention, and development of the workforce. Components of this include but are not limited to: a job resource board, skill development, hiring fairs, and a Workforce Retention Expansion Program. 

•Town of Canmore Economic Development held a series of meetings with local non-profits to understand employment needs and 
•In July 2020, The Job Resource Centre launched their online job board which the Town of Canmore has promoted online and via the Economic Development business update newsletter.
•The Business Visitation Program throughout August is focused on the downtown core and includes questions about staffing issues. To date, we have visited over 30 businesses. This program will run until the end of August to gain more information about business trends. A digital survey will also go out to the wider business community in early fall 2020.
Business Support Hub - IN PROGRESS
We will ensure Town of Canmore staff are available and trained to address business calls inquiring about programming, supports, and processes. This could involve creating a centralized direct phone number for businesses to call should they need assistance and information. Our existing Business Support Hub will be enhanced to include:

Business Tools: Economic Development would work with industry experts to develop a set of tools to support business continuity planning, such as developing a re-open plan with templates for scheduling, re-hire agreements, stock, or staffing needs overview, marketing and planning tools, etc.
Financial Aid: Directing businesses to financial aid provided by the various levels of governments and private sectors
Employee Supports: Access to social support services such as how to find housing

Supports for the Self-Employed: Directing self-employed individuals to applicable resources.
Re-opening Working Group - LAUNCHED
We are working with internal and external stakeholders to develop a robust re-open plan for Canmore following provincial guidelines as they become available. The planning process has been broken down into five elements:

1. Business physical distancing and safety requirements
2. Communication to community on physical distancing to residents
3. Town Planning: How do we accommodate physical distancing and visitors/community sentiment in the various reopening stages?
4. Traveler communication on community expectations, best practices, etc.
5. Marketing to boost the economy when all industries are allowed to re-open
SMARTstart Entrepreneurial Program - LAUNCHED
To ensure we set up our new entrepreneurs for success, we are launching SMARTstart to recruit both students and mentors for a fall program start as originally planned and part of the current approved Economic Development Department budget. The additional funding will support a program-fee refund program for participants who complete the program.

SMARTstart is an entrepreneurial training program with three components: online learning, in-person seminars, and mentorship. Over eight months, 15-20 entrepreneurs would undergo 50-60 hours of online training, workshops, and mentorship meetings. The program objective is for participants to take away a completed business plan, strategic plan, or feasibility study, as well as strong network connections.

2020 Applications Now Closed. We are currently seeking mentors to match with entrepreneurs.
Canmore Business to Business Voucher Program - COMPLETE
The B2B Voucher program will help small businesses maintain cash flow. Promoting businesses-to-business support fosters a duplicator effect and doubles the Town’s investment into its business community. The voucher program provides eligible businesses with additional coaching and/or technical training or services.

Registration has closed due to full subscription. The Town of Canmore received over 40 applicants that were supported on a first-come-first-served basis.
Patio Rebate Program - COMPLETE
When we closed Main Street to vehicles to promote physical distancing and encourage business owners to expand onto the sidewalk to safely accommodate customers, we provided rebates to those business owners in the affected areas who have already paid for a patio permit for this season. 
Canmore Business Re-Start Fund Program - IN PROGRESS
We will provide seed funding to a start-up fund grant program, managed by the Bow Valley Chamber of Commerce. Funds contributed to this program would be used to support Canmore-based businesses. Some of the costs that would be eligible for coverage under this program are inventory, staffing, pre-open deep-clean of the business’s physical location, or commercial space re-design to accommodate physical distancing.

The application pool to distribute the remaining funds reopens September 4, 2020, and is now available to sole-proprietors. Click here for more information and to apply by September 18, 2020.
Neighbourhood Art Project Grant IN PROGRESS
We will allocate $38,000 to a COVID-19 neighbourhood building art project in 2020. This will fund 10 artist-led neighbourhood projects that build social cohesion. These projects would have long-lasting effects and will support the Know Your Neighbour initiatives currently implemented by the Community Social Development Department.

Community applications are now open!
Community Event Relief Fund 
Annually the Town of Canmore runs an Event Grant as well as a Community Grant program. These programs have been cancelled in 2020 as part of the budget savings adjustment. As a replacement, Economic Development, Recreation, and Community Social Development will collaborate to offer relief for events impacted by the pandemic.
#SupportlocalCanmore - COMPLETED
This digital campaign in partnership with the Bow Valley Chamber of Commerce encourages residents and visitors to support local businesses.

The campaign ran until the end of August. Thank you for supporting local!
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