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Make It Kitchener 2.0 strategy wins Excellence Award

The Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) has awarded the City of Kitchener with a planning and strategic development excellence award for the Make It Kitchener 2.0 (MIK 2.0) economic development strategy.  

MIK 2.0 is an ambitious plan to support economic recovery and propel the community and economy forward by investing in catalytic growth opportunities and creating a resilient future where everyone can make a difference.  

"Kitchener Council cares deeply about the local businesses that have been impacted by the challenges of the pandemic. Make It Kitchener 2.0 provides a flexible framework to help support them to build back better for the economic wellbeing of our community," said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. "To be recognized for this work is a tribute to the great work of staff and our community." 

Kitchener continues to prioritize supporting the businesses and employees most negatively impacted by the pandemic. In the fall of 2021, Kitchener City Council approved Make It Kitchener 2.0, which included a $5 million commitment to support an agile and flexible economic recovery framework. This framework has guided and continues to drive the City's economic recovery initiatives, including a $1 million seed fund directly supporting businesses to stimulate growth and opportunity. 

"Make It Kitchener 2.0 was the product of months of significant input from community leaders, business leaders and residents," said Cory Bluhm, Executive Director, Economic Development, City of Kitchener. "The community has given us a compelling mandate to support those businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic while continuing to make long-term investments in economic growth. Residents were also clear that investments in affordable housing and a vibrant city are equally important. " 

MIK 2.0 included the creation of a new $110 million investment fund, where City Council can make major catalytic investments over the next ten years, all without raising taxes. In addition to supporting business recovery initiatives, Council has committed $8.5 million towards the University of Waterloo's future Innovation Arena, accepted the donation of the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, provided land for the development of a supportive housing facility, and supported the establishment of a new incubator focused on the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.    

"A special thank you to the Economic Developers Council of Ontario for recognizing Kitchener's economic recovery strategy, just as they did with Make It Kitchener 1.0 five years ago," said Councillor and Economic Development Advisory Committee member Paul Singh. "Kitchener is truly a community that is able to come together to collaboratively support local businesses for a brighter economic future." 

For a complete list of communities recognized, visit edco.on.ca

Article Last Updated 22.04.2022

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