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:
In June 2020, Council endorsed the Vaughan Business Resilience Plan, as Phase 2 in economic recovery efforts. It included three measures:
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:
To support the first pillar, the Economic Development department has a series of initiatives to help small businesses including:
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:
To support the fourth pillar, the Economic Development department will produce and share communications kits highlighting:
Advantage Vaughan continues to: