Province Helping Boost Tourism, Create Jobs and enhancing Economical grows with the new $40 million Fund.
As Liberal MPP Candidate I’m focusing on bringing attention to rural counties like our beautiful counties of Haldimand-Norfolk. As I said in my nomination speech I want to work on rural connectivity and economic growth in our riding. Last week I met the Hon. Diaene Vernile and several ministers, MPP’s and candidates and we celebrated her appointment to be the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport. She called Mayor Charlie Luke and told him that Ontario is helping rural communities attract investment and tourism, create jobs and enhance regional economic growth by supporting the revitalization of downtown and main streets across the province.
Norfolk County will receive $ 82,575 and Haldimand County will receive $ 66,960 from this program and with the municipalities matching this amount, we will have more than $ 164,000 for Norfolk and more than 130,000 for Haldimand available to enhance and vitalize mainstreets.
The Government is convinced that vibrant main streets will help to attract visitors, create jobs and increase the competitiveness of small businesses, which are the backbone of small, rural communities. This fund provided by the province will help municipalities to enhance and revitalize their downtown and main streets through improvements such as the installation of pedestrian crosswalks or landscaping. Municipalities can also direct funding to local businesses to improve the appearance of their storefronts by installing lighting or new signage.
Supporting small businesses and communities across the province is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, through the biggest expansion of Medicare in a generation.
This initiative is part of a $40 million investment over three years in the Main Street Enhancement Fund, which will help strengthen small businesses in downtown and main street areas and enhance the digital presence and capabilities of small businesses through increased access to digital tools like e-commerce.
Ontario is investing up to $26 million in the Main Street Revitalization Initiative, which will be administered by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and its rural arm, the Rural Ontario Municipal Association.
The revitalization initiative expands upon and complements the Downtown Revitalization Program that supports main street revitalization in rural areas.
About one-third of Ontario workers are employed by small businesses, which are businesses that employ less than 100 paid employees.
To strengthen Ontario small businesses, the province is providing more than $500 million over three years in new initiatives that include lowering the small business tax rate by 22 per cent from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, investing in youth employment, providing support for downtown main street businesses and reducing red tape.