Toronto

Toronto mayor to set up task force to help businesses affected by COVID-19

Toronto Mayor John Tory is planning to set up a task force to help businesses affected by the economic fallout of COVID-19.

Task force, to be led by the mayor, would look at immediate, long-term recovery strategies

The city is planning to set up a task force to help businesses deal with and recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 outbreak. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Toronto Mayor John Tory is planning to set up a task force to help businesses affected by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tory would lead the "economic support and recovery" task force, according to his office. The mayor is currently in self-isolation after he returned from a trip to Britain last week.

Coun. Michael Thompson, who represents Ward 21 Scarborough Centre, said the city is aware that businesses are feeling the impact of the COVID-10 outbreak as the city shuts down services and cancels events.

"The task force will be designed to look at immediate and long-term economic recovery strategies that we could focus on in terms of how we could support a segment of the economy that is most strongly impacted by COVID-19," Thompson said on Sunday.

Some businesses that might be helped by the task force include those in Toronto's travel and tourism industry, he added.

Thompson said the task force will likely include Coun. Gary Crawford, the city's budget chief, and Michael Williams, general manager of economic development and culture.

"This is all very fluid," he said. "We're working quite diligently."

Thompson declined to comment on how much money would be available for the task force but said an announcement is expected on Monday.

In a tweet on Sunday, Thompson said he was at his city hall office "developing and reviewing ideas" for economic support and recovery.

Ontario announced 42 additional COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 145.