Oshawa’s Economic Recovery Task Force Chair calls small business “backbone” of the community

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Published February 4, 2022 at 4:07 pm

Oshawa’s Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force Chair Tito-Dante Marimpietri says small business is the “backbone” of the community and helping business owners recover from the effects of the pandemic was exactly why the Task Force was established in the first place.

Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter struck the Task Force less than a month into the pandemic on April 14, 2020 and Marimpietri, who also chairs the City’s Development Services Committee was given the leadership role to focus on economic support and recovery for local businesses, including relief measures, resources and supports and advocating on behalf of the local business community.

“Small business owners and the families they employee (are) made up of hard working people for whom I have so much respect and appreciation for,” Marimpietri said. “These local businesses are often family run and community-based entities and by experience, I understand just how deeply they have been impacted by the devastating difficulties encountered throughout this pandemic.”

Marimpietri said the Task Force’s “collective focus” has been directed toward supporting local business by “aggressively restructuring” Oshawa’s Economic Development Department to “effectively and efficiently serve as concierge type one-stop shop.”

The re-structured department was designed to coordinate requests and meet business and community needs that evolved during “one of the most challenging periods in our history.”

The Task Force includes Marimpietri and Carter, as well as Jason King from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, Ivano Labricciosa from Oshawa P.U.C., realtor Roger Bouma, business representatives Sali Fitzpatrick, Margaret Spiegelman, Dustin Kellow and Kyle Douglas; Peter Stoett, Debbie McKee-Demczyk and Scott Henderson from the post-secondary education sector; Lucy Stocco from the Tribute Communities Centre; builders and developers Ihor Lysk, Glen Posteraro, Stacey Hawkins and Jeff Robinson; and Oshawa senior staff members Paul Ralph, Hailey Wright and Warren Munro.

Marimpietri called it an “expert panel of respected business leaders” that has delivered ideas to “help existing businesses thrive again” but said there is “much work ahead” before the business community can return to pre-pandemic levels.

“We need to continue to foster and establish a responsive customer service friendly environment, and most importantly, make things easier for the local business community to navigate and operate their interests,” he said. “That is the path for the recovery, growth, and success of our business community.”

 

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