Council takes steps to support businesses in their recovery

At tonight’s Council meetings, Saugeen Shores Council moved several economic recovery initiatives forward as the community continues to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Council and staff are hard at work to support our local businesses as they contend with the pandemic’s effects on nearly every aspect of their operations,” said Mayor Luke Charbonneau. “The measures Council is putting in place now and in the coming weeks, in consultation with business leaders and staff, will help our community’s recovery in a number of critical areas.”

Saugeen Shores Strong Economic Recovery Strategy

Council received the Saugeen Shores Strong Economic Recovery Strategy, which was developed in partnership with the Mayor’s Task Force on Economic Recovery.

The Strategy outlines research efforts, actions and future planning as a baseline for recovery. Staff will return to Council with further defined processes and recommendations for action items which require formal approval.

The public can view the Economic Recovery Strategy on the Town’s website.

Spruce the Bruce Grant Program

The Spruce the Bruce Grant Program has been so successful in Saugeen Shores that at tonight’s Council meeting, Council passed a motion to further fund an additional $30,000 in Spruce the Bruce grants for local business applicants.

On June 1, 2020, Bruce County launched the enhanced Spruce the Bruce (STB) granting program to support business recovery. By June 10, nine Saugeen Shores businesses had accessed the program, and Saugeen Shores was deemed fully subscribed to the STB program (spending $29,991 of the community’s allotted $30,000).

The extra funding approved by Council tonight will support businesses who have already applied for these grants as well as those who are interested in applying. For more information, businesses can visit Bruce County's website.

Deferral of Development Charges

As part of the Town’s economic recovery initiatives, Council has tentatively agreed to defer the collection of Development Charges (DCs) for applications received until December 31, 2020. Temporary relief on DCs will assist developers with cash flow to ensure they can continue their work to help Saugeen Shores grow.

Southampton Visitor Centre

Council has tentatively entered into a five-month agreement with the Southampton Arts Centre to operate the Southampton Visitor Centre.

Earlier this year, Council approved the transition of publicly funded tourism services from the Chamber of Commerce to the Town of Saugeen Shores. The Town assumed responsibility for the operations of the Southampton Visitor Centre, among other responsibilities to support tourism.

The Centre will be operated for a minimum of 34 hours per week during July and August. Staff will respond to walk-in visitors and other inquiries, providing information on topics such as accommodations, special events, swimming, boating, and outdoor recreation activities in Saugeen Shores and area.