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COVID-19 Support

President’s Message to EDCO Members

As President, I wanted to reach out to EDCO members to provide assurance that your association is closely monitoring the COVID-19 crisis and will support members through the following measures:

  1. EDCO is closely monitoring hourly/changing nature of the virus and how it is affecting Canadians.
  2. EDCO will endeavour to continuously provide valuable links and information through either social media, more frequent bulletins and website resources. I feel this is an effective way to communicate rather than further tax your challenging schedules. Recognizing that you are the conduit to local businesses we know you are stretched to the maximum.
  3. EDCO will monitor what other organizations are doing and report any valuable information.
  4. EDCO will not cancel any current memberships due to non-payment at this time. We realize municipal resources are not operating at maximum capacity. Follow up for outstanding payments will recommence on June 1, 2020.
  5. EDCO established this Facebook Group where communities can share/exchange knowledge on what their communities are doing in response to COVID-19. This will allow members to browse when they can. We hope that you will contribute to the page so members can learn.
  6. EDCO continues to operate under normal office hours electronically and is practicing social distancing through remote work and tele/video meetings.

Our CEO, Heather Lalonde has been in regular contact with the Province of Ontario and is part of a stakeholder group that is involved in regular updates. When necessary, we will communicate breaking news for your review. The Province is also engaged in regular outreach to EDCO. As recent as this morning Minister Vic Fedeli and Heather had a productive update phone call. Minister McLeod’s office has established an outreach program to update EDCO and a communication from OMAFRA is expected any time.

We appreciate all our members, and their commitment to their organizations. If there is something that you think EDCO should be doing that does not duplicate the efforts of other organizations, please feel free to reach out to Heather Lalonde in the EDCO office or myself.

EDCO wishes all of you the best. Stay safe and healthy!

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

Gord Knowles, EcD, CEcD

President, Economic Developers Council of Ontario

Mental Health Support

This year as we face COVID-19, we are learning that we need each other now more than ever. Let's talk about the importance of mental health and take the time to connect in meaningful ways.

Links & Resources

Government of Canada

COVID-19 Update Page

Resources for Business

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Helping Canadians With the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Calling All Suppliers - Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

ROE Guidelines for Issuing EI

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – Benefits and Services

Taking Care of your Mental Health

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

Infrastructure Plan

The Federal Gas Tax Fund

Youth Employment & Skills Program

Local Food Infrastructure Fund

Canadian Chambers of Commerce

Pandemic Preparedness for Business

Business Development Bank of Canada

Business Continuity Plan & Templates

Support for Entrepreneurs

COVID-19: Economic Impact & the Way Out

Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Ontario COVID-19 Relief Measures for your Business

COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist

World Health Organization

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report

International Economic Development Council

Economic Development Preparedness as it Relates to COVID-19 - IEDC Survey

Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency

BC Economic Development Association

Planning for Coronavirus: A Guide for Businesses and Organizations

Workplace and Employer Resources and Suggestions


Small Business Grants Program

The Conference Board of Canada

COVID-19 Insights & Resources

Travel Exclusive: May 2020 Survey Results

How has COVID-19 impacted Canadians' mental health?

City of Brampton

Economic Development

Let's Connect Brampton

Task Force Roles & Responsibilities 

Map of Services

Economic Recovery Strategy

County of Renfrew

Renfrew County Economic Task Force

Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation

Resources COVID-19 Impacts in Rural Canada

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation

CECRA for Small Businesses

City of Mississauga


Economic Responses to COVID-19

Province of Ontario

Ontario Together: Help Fight Coronavirus

List of Essential Workplaces

Extended Validation Periods

Electricity Relief

Stop The Spread Business Info Line

COVID-19 Modelling

Agriculture and Food Jobs

COVID-19: Support for Businesses

Full List of Emergency Orders

Community Safety Initiatives & Resources

SPARK Ontario: Volunteer Opportunities

Second Career

Reopening Ontario after COVID-19

Frontline & Business Support

Data Catalogue

Regional Development Program

The Recovery Activation Program

Consultation: Modernizing Ontario's Capital Markets

Ontario Federation of Agriculture

COVID-19 Updates

Guide for Direct Sales to Consumers during COVID-19 & Beyond

Guide to Operating your Essential Farm Business during COVID-19

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Preparedness for Business

Ontario Ministry of Health

Stats and Self Assessment Tool

Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO)

Results from Round One Survey

Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA)

OBIAA COVID-19 Impact to BIA Communities Survey Results

Facebook Group for BIA Staff & Board Members

DMS Ontario Expansion


Financial Relief Package for Businesses

Adjudicative Approach to Claims

COVID-19 Updates

Health & Safety Excellence Program

Municipal World

Coronavirus News Update

Kawartha Lakes

COVID-19 Business Resources

City of Orillia

COVID Business Support 

ERFT Consultation Summary & Preliminary Action Plan

Orillia Online Proposal

Enhanced Shop Local Proposal

Curbside Parking Program

Middlesex County

Plan for COVID-19 Economic Resiliency


COVID-19 Wall of Inspiration

Tourism Sarnia-Lambton

Business Toolkit (Resources Guide)

Digital Main Street


Future Proofing


COVID-19 Economic Task Force

Cross-Border Tips for Manufacturing Sector Employees During COVID-19

  • 04 Aug 2020 6:10 PM | Deleted user

    It's officially August – the time of year when Ontarians cherish the final moments of summer while also preparing for new beginnings in the fall. As we continue to move forward, I wanted to reach out to all of you and send our best wishes.

    Thank you for renewing your memberships for this year, and a warm welcome to new EDCO members joining us! We hope you and your families remain healthy and safe during this time.

    Our routines were turned upside down by the pandemic five months ago and despite the challenges, Ontarians have come together to accomplish so much in response. As President, I am proud of the dedication and hard work you have contributed to your communities. Your role is essential for recovery and EDCO continues to advocate for you. Together, we will persist to strengthen our economy and turn ideas into prosperity for the places we choose to work and live.

    During these summer months, we have been busy completing an analysis of our membership. The purpose of this was to learn more about you in order to help us update and add more value to our initiatives. Thank you to everyone who was able to participate in our member survey. Our new strategy created from this will enable you to support economic growth and prosperity in your community through networking, professional development, and access to resources.

    As you know, a big highlight for EDCO is our annual conference. We love spending that time to network and engage with you in-person each year. While this year will be very different, our Board and Conference Planning Committee are investing time into developing an interactive virtual experience for you from February 2-4, 2021. Save-the-date in your calendars and stay tuned for exciting updates on our social media platforms.

    Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions – we are always here. Take good care!

    On behalf of the Board of Directors,

    Gord Knowles, EcD, CEcD

    President, Economic Developers Council of Ontario

  • 28 Apr 2020 7:14 PM | Deleted user

    Date: Monday, May 4, 2020

    Time: 2PM to 3PM

    Please join fellow EDCO members, Craig Kelley (County of Renfrew), Martin Bohl (City of Brampton) and Rebecca Mustard (City of Kawartha Lakes) to learn how they structured their Emergency Task Forces in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

    From a rural, county and large urban approach, your fellow members will share their insights on their local efforts. Following the presentations, a member exchange will take place. Join your fellow members to share your challenges and victories in your community.

    Register in advance at the link below and you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Register here!

  • 20 Apr 2020 3:46 PM | Deleted user

    SAVE THE DATE: EDCO Town Hall Meeting Monday, April 27th @ 1 PM. The topic of focus will be Economic Development Task Forces. https://

  • 17 Apr 2020 10:48 AM | Deleted user

    Has your economic development staff been impacted by layoffs during the COVID-19 crisis? Answer our quick poll here:

  • 25 Mar 2020 12:33 PM | Deleted user

    There has not been a time in history that can compare to the current environment in the world. First, I hope all of you and your families remain healthy and safe. Thank you to the front-line workers that continue to serve our communities during this time. I think of our economic development community as front-line workers as they are the professionals that work with local businesses that are impacted significantly at this time.

    The EDCO Executive Committee met last week to discuss course of action for EDCO. As you know, many of you have been very helpful in responding to some our stakeholder surveys. We are appreciative of your contributions. The Executive felt that a survey from EDCO may be a little early given the everchanging environment. EDCO feels that our role will become more important as we begin to come out the other side of this crisis through resources for communities to recover from this crisis. 

    In the meantime, I have been in touch with several stakeholders, the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and on several stakeholder calls with the Province. I attend now 3 x per week calls with the MEDJCT Industry Partners calls, participated with Minister Macleod on a Town Hall call, and now 2 x weekly calls with OBIAA and TIAO.

    EDCO continues to communicate with colleagues across the country as well including the provincial associations and EDAC. On an international basis, regular contact with IEDC is also taking place.

    EDCO created a Facebook Page for its members as a resource to have members share information. I encourage you to join the group and learn what your colleagues are doing in their communities. As resources become available, we are doing our best to communicate out through social media, our website and the Facebook group.

    EDCO continues to operate safely within the guidelines set out by both the Federal and Provincial government with conference calls and staff working from their homes. We are maintaining regular business hours and services. If there is something you wish to discuss, I am a phone call or email away.

    Stay safe!

    Heather Lalonde, CEO

    (613) 362-3722

  • 24 Mar 2020 9:54 AM | Deleted user

    As part of the province’s response to COVID-19, a new website has been launched for businesses and employees to suggest innovative solutions to meet the evolving challenges in supplies, goods and services. “Ontario Together” is a place to support each other and exchange knowledge. Your ideas, innovation and emergency products can be the help Ontarians need during this time.

    Please  visit or call 1-888-777-0554 to make a submission.

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