March 19, 2020

Cranbrook, BC (March 19, 2020) – The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt by all businesses in the Cranbrook and Kimberley region and it is important that steps be taken and support mechanisms be put in place to minimize those impacts and ensure economic recovery resumes quickly.

That’s the mandate of a new joint Economic Resilience Task Force (ERTF), a collaborative initiative intended to create and implement strategies to help our business community now and recover once this situation has passed.

Many local and regional partners represent the ERTF including: Mayor Pratt and the City of Cranbrook, Mayor Don McCormick and the City of Kimberley and includes representation from the Ktunaxa Nation, the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce, the Cranbrook Downtown Business Association, Community Futures, the Columbia Basin Trust and Cranbrook Tourism. The ERTF also has support from Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison, Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka, the Regional District of East Kootenay, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MFLNRORD) and the BC Economic Development Association.

The ERTF will be exploring all possibilities in full co-operation with local government to minimize the impact and see an economic recovery take place as soon as possible.

“We know there are tough times now and in the future for our business community and we decided to be proactive and formed a committee of all stakeholders to help these businesses. The City of Cranbrook and all our stakeholders has committed to help our business community weather these tough times,” says Mayor Lee Pratt. “We will also be working together with all the stakeholders during this crisis and after to help out wherever we can to get them back on track to being successful. A healthy community requires a healthy business community and we are committed to do what we can to achieve this.”

The focus of the task force will be on quickly determining what current supports and stimulus work needs to be completed.  We will work as a team to identify actions to support businesses, workers and residents. The task force will enable the community to better respond to the evolving challenges this pandemic pose.

“These are unprecedented times for our community, and we must take steps immediately to help our residents and economy, during and after the pandemic,” says Darren Brewer, Business Development Officer for the City of Cranbrook. “We are confident we can, together as a community, get though the economic impact of COVID-19. We want every resident and business in our community to know that we are working for you.”

If you need support, would like to be involved or would like more information, please contact Darren Brewer at 250-919-9792 or email darren.brewer@cranbrook.ca.

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