Recovery Project/Plan

Advantage Vaughan

Submitted ByEconomic Development Department - City of Vaughan

Advantage Vaughan


In March 2020, Vaughan became the first Ontario municipality to declare a state of emergency and Council approved the Vaughan Business Action Plan, marking Phase 1 of the City’s economic recovery efforts to COVID-19. It included five key measures:


  1. Support the restocking of store shelves – by suspending noise by-laws and weight restrictions on roads.
  2. Enhance the movement of goods – by suspending by-laws restricting the loading and unloading of commercial vehicles and allowing for 24-hour delivery.
  3. Improve business ground transportation – by suspending the weight and size of vehicles on roads.
  4. Suspend the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) – to support the travel and tourism industry.
  5. Maintain small business services – by maintaining services online or by phone.


In June 2020, Council endorsed the Vaughan Business Resilience Plan, as Phase 2 in economic recovery efforts. It included three measures:


  1. Secure Vaughan as York Region’s largest employment centre by helping business owners build resilience in their businesses.
  2. Build resilience into Vaughan’s key strategic sectors ensuring economic opportunities continue post-COVID.
  3. Share Vaughan’s reimagined public spaces with social distancing and invite the community to experience the culture of Vaughan.


Both the Vaughan Business Action Plan and the Vaughan Business Resilience Plan proved to be successful. Both GDP and employment surpassed pre-pandemic levels, with nearly $25 billion in economic output and more than 236,000 workers in 2021. In January 2022, the City of Vaughan continued its COVID-19 recovery efforts by introducing Advantage Vaughan, Phase 3 of the City’s economic recovery effort.


Advantage Vaughan programming supports:

  1. Small business owners and entrepreneurs
  2. Vaughan residents who make up the City’s talent base
  3. Local organizations that animate the community
  4. Community branding and marketing


To support the first pillar, the Economic Development department has a series of initiatives to help small businesses including:

  • More than $300,000 in federal investment supporting main street businesses;
  • Small Business Enterprise Centre investment from the Province of Ontario of nearly $1,000,000 over three years;
  • Regional and provincial programs worth more than $150,000 for small business training and micro-grants.


To support the second pillar, Economic Development allocated $50,000 for Talent City Vaughan to support workforce skills development. Participants applied for a micro-grant of up to $10,000 based on the number of residents receiving training. In 2022, seven successful applications totalling $65,000 were awarded.

To support the third pillar, the Economic Development department provides financial support to the Fairs and Festivals Support Program. The value of support is a 75 percent discount applied to the total cost of the rental, up to a maximum of $3,500/ year covering:

  • use of City-owned property;
  • services-in-kind; and,
  • Buildings and Operations staff ($400 maximum).


To support the fourth pillar, the Economic Development department will produce and share communications kits highlighting:

  • Destination development and Tourism Vaughan
  • Industry profiles in key clusters
  • Small business support toolkits


Advantage Vaughan continues to:

  • Provide funding to Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre programming
  • Administer the Talent City Vaughan program; and
  • Provide funding to help strengthen in-person events.