The powers that be at the City of Penticton have begun to look towards rebuilding the city’s economy in a post-pandemic world.
Although the pandemic is still on-going, city council has created a new task force to lead the community’s recovery after COVID-19.
The task force has been given, “proactive terms of reference and instructions” to develop priorities contributing to the successful restart of the community’s economy post-pandemic.
While COVID-19 cases in Penticton and throughout the province remain high, recent vaccine development has provided a light at the end of the tunnel.
Mayor John Vassilaki said it is imperative that Penticton be ready once a more prosperous economic climate arises.
“The key to our economic recovery is balancing our attention and available resources on the critical needs of today, while also looking ahead to the future by having our economy ready and prepared to immediately fire the moment positive economic conditions return,” said Vassilaki. “By bringing together the right people from across our community, key ideas and solutions will start to surface leading to great conversations around what Penticton can do to get ready.”
Made up of 12 members with a broad range of backgrounds, the task force will be similar to that of the economic recovery task force that successfully advised council during the early part of the pandemic.
The task force will be chaired and co-chaired by the general manager of community services, Anthony Haddad and director of development services, Blake Laven.
“We believe that the proposed terms of reference for the task force will assist the community with its COVID-19 response and ensure that our city is in the best possible place to recover successfully from the challenges the pandemic has delivered,” said Haddad.
Long-term COVID-19 economic recovery will be the main focus for the task force, with emphasis on the following areas; business and industry support, resident support, public safety, arts and culture, event supports, community organization support, and city marketing.
The task force will begin its work in January and provide the first update to council in February, where the initial conversations, ideas and solutions will be presented for consideration and feedback.
Members of the community who are interested in putting their names forward to join the task force can do so by emailing their application to firstname.lastname@example.org.