Winnipeg city councilors will have the opportunity to vote this week on a far-reaching two-year strategy to boost economic activity and support businesses affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan Framework includes ways to stimulate growth through business fee waivers, infrastructure spending, promotion, and optimized services.
“COVID-19 had a profound impact on the economy and our social constructions,” the public service writes in its report.
“The City Council has asked the Public Service to provide a framework for economic response and recovery. Response actions have already taken place, as described in this report, so the focus is now on reboot and recovery. “
The report specifically highlights ways to increase economic activity in the city center, which it says is responsible for 20 percent of all business property taxes, 12 percent of the city’s business tax, and is home to more than 70 percent. hundred of all office space.
And that’s the case, even though the city center represents less than one percent of the city’s physical footprint.
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The report recommends that the city provide $ 30 million to support the Downtown Recovery Framework, which, among other things, proposes investments to renovate Broadway Boulevard, build Market Lands, and incentives to attract new business.
The report also suggests “Tax Increase Financing” incentives that, over a 25-year period, would raise $ 50 million for affordable housing citywide, with a minimum of $ 20 million for affordable housing in the downtown area. .
More generally, the report recommends continuing the temporary yard program and waiving permit fees for parties and festivals on the block.
It also suggests that the city should start long-term infrastructure projects earlier than planned.
This could include the development of parks, the addition of splash zones, and the improvement of active transportation routes.
The framework could also be a boon for community centers, with a recommendation to remove a 50% supplemental funding requirement on income-generating projects.
The public service was first ordered to begin work on the strategy in April 2021, and included input from each of the city’s community committees.
He will appear before the executive policy committee on Wednesday.
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