MUSKOKA, ON-As the pandemic has made severe economic impacts on the community, the District of Muskoka has set up a task force to ensure the region returns to levels pre-COVID-19. 

The Muskoka Economic Recovery Task Force (MERTF) is working with regional partners and small business stakeholders to make sure the region has healthy economic outcomes for both during and after the pandemic. 

The task force is made up of the District Chair and staff, area municipal economic development leads, area MP and MPP offices, Chambers of Commerce and BIA’s, tourism agencies, and the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations. 

“The goal of the task force is to minimize the effects of the pandemic on businesses across Muskoka and respond by undertaking strategic actions that enable recovery while ensuring strong economic outcomes,” said District Chair John Klinck. “Where available, the task force will also seek, leverage, and advocate for Provincial and Federal Government funding to support Muskoka-based businesses.”

To assist and coordinate the activities of the task force, David Sword has been hired to serve as the MERTF’s Team Lead. 

Sword’s role will be to ensure the economic recovery plan and initiatives are designed to promote growth through the re-opening, expansion and retention of existing businesses and to bring in new businesses to the area, leading to a more prosperous economic growth. 

In addition, Wade Matthews has also been bright on as a Project Coordinator for the Muskoka Employment Partnership Project, which focuses on regional workforce development goals that are aligned with the task forces’ priorities. 

Klinck said Sword and Matthews would be working closely together to support the shared economic and workforce development goals of the task force and the Employment Partnership Project. 

“We look forward to their contributions to these very important initiatives that will support Muskoka’s communities to recover from the impacts of the COVID pandemic.”