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City Approves $110 Million Investment Fund

In October of 2020, City Council approved an innovative $110 million investment fund to support business recovery and drive long-term economic growth in Kitchener. 

“Kitchener has been one of the fastest growing economies in Canada in recent years but residents and businesses have faced a lot of new challenges this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “The current challenges haven’t changed where we want to go as a City, but they have changed how we’ll get there. In Kitchener, we own our change, and the time to act with bold economic leadership for our future is now.  Make It Kitchener 2.0 ensures that our city doesn’t just weather the pandemic, but that we build back better and come out even stronger for our collective future.”

Make it Kitchener 2.0 is a bold, ambitious plan to support business recovery, to create a future where everyone can make a difference, and to propel our community forward through investments in the impact economy. It presents a 10-year vision to guide economic development and community initiatives and presents an innovative funding model through a new Economic Development Investment Fund (EDIF) that would enable Council to invest up to an additional $110 million over 10 years, without relying on a tax rate increase. Funding will come from existing economic development reserves, through the utilization of debt issuance capacity, and through the strategic disposition of City-owned lands. 

Visionary masterplans will be developed through community consultation to establish a vision and objectives for key lands owned by the City. By maximizing sales value and partnership opportunities for those lands, the City will create funding and assets that can be reinvested to advance the Make It Kitchener 2.0 initiatives and future opportunities.

“In the early 2000s, Kitchener made the choice to embrace change and reimagine our local industries and downtown core,” said Cory Bluhm, executive director, economic development for the City of Kitchener. “Today, we again find ourselves at a point of economic crisis.  But as this community has shown, from crisis comes a collaborative spirit to chart our own brighter future.”

Article Last Updated 14.01.2021

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