Letter to City Council: Municipal Supports for Business Community During COVID-19

March 18, 2020
Mayor & Council
City of Thunder Bay
Via email

Dear Mayor Mauro and Members of Council:

Our community, particularly the small business sector, is facing significant challenges and economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses have already laid-off numerous staff while some have closed their doors completely. We believe that many more businesses will be required to take similar steps in the coming days and weeks.

In these difficult times, the Chamber is advocating to all orders of government in support of measures that can assist business owners and their employees. We offer the following recommended temporary actions for consideration by the City of Thunder Bay:

  • Interest-free deferral of property tax installments scheduled for May 6, 2020
  • Interest-free deferral of water/wastewater payments for all businesses
  • Cancellation of daily fixed cost water/wastewater charges for high water-usage businesses including hotels and restaurants
  • Elimination of all parking fees in business areas
  • Cancellation of development service department fees (building, planning, zoning) to stimulate construction activities, and
  • Cancellation of all business-related permit fees including signage permit fees

We would also recommend that the City’s portion of Municipal Accommodation Taxes collected in 2020 be used to support recovery efforts for the local tourism sector and its related businesses.

I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss these recommendations and will stay in close contact with you as the situation evolves.

Charla Robinson
Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce