Catherine's Plan for a Thriving, More Prosperous Ottawa

Catherine will help small businesses and entrepreneurs, while building a thriving city that will attract major employers offering well-paying jobs.

As Mayor, Catherine will build a vibrant and thriving city with both the economic development and the City services that we need.

Small businesses are the heart of our communities and the engine of the city’s economy, yet they often struggle to thrive for many reasons, including the impact of the pandemic. Catherine will make the City work for small businesses by helping them thrive and ensuring mainstreets, plazas, and town centres are supported through City policy, as they are integral commercial hubs of communities.

Catherine will also focus on attracting major employers offering high-skilled, well-paying jobs, and will foster the growth potential of our entrepreneurial leaders.

A healthy city with strong economic development benefits small businesses and entrepreneurs. And vibrant small businesses benefit our communities. 

Catherine will make the following improvements to supporting small businesses and economic development:

  • Ensure small businesses can thrive as integral members of the local economy and community
  • Foster opportunities to “Buy Local” and support the vibrancy of mainstreets, plazas and town centres as commercial hubs of communities 
  • Attract to Ottawa one to two major employers of high-skilled workers 
  • Foster Ottawa’s entrepreneurial community for the future
  • Stimulate our local food and agriculture economy
  • Stimulate tourism through strategic initiatives
  • Build a vibrant city with robust municipal services 

Ensure small businesses can thrive as integral members of the local economy and community. 

As Mayor, Catherine will establish a dedicated liaison service for small businesses navigating City resources and requirements. This will encourage and support business development and viability community-wide.

To help small businesses thrive, as Mayor, Catherine will extend the small business property tax subclass, which is the new property tax discount for as many as 10,000 small businesses across Ottawa.

Catherine will continue to work with the business community and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) to support small and medium-sized businesses using City services. This would include introducing online renewal processes for licences and permits, wherever feasible. We want to save time and effort for small businesses by improving City delivery metrics and service standards. 

Catherine will extend the cancellation patio fees for another two years to continue to allow for expanded patios throughout the city. This will help small businesses after a difficult couple of years during the pandemic.

A firm believer in creating a more fun city, Catherine will also increase food truck permits. 

Foster opportunities to “Buy Local” and support the vibrancy of mainstreets, plazas, and town centres as commercial hubs of communities. 

As Mayor, Catherine will support and promote the #BuyLocalOttawa campaign while working with key stakeholders of this program, including the Ottawa Board of Trade, Ottawa Tourism, Invest Ottawa, the Ottawa Coalition of Business Improvement Areas (OCOBIA) and Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale (RGA) to ensure the success of the campaign in promoting shopping local. 

Catherine will ensure the Mayor’s office continues a strong relationship with OCOBIA and that small businesses are involved in development and planning of mainstreet initiatives while ensuring they continue to have proper access to City staff and resources.

We’ll work to revitalize the downtown core by allowing and encouraging commercial space to be converted to housing, arts spaces and restaurants, among other attractions. Catherine will work as a member of the Downtown Ottawa Revitalization Task Force, which includes community and business leaders with the knowledge and experience needed to propose innovative, ambitious ideas for the downtown’s successful future.

Attract to Ottawa one to two major employers of high-skilled workers 

In the first two years as Mayor, Catherine will lead two international trade missions to attract one to two major employers to Ottawa. We want jobs that match Ottawa’s highly educated workforce — rather than courting jobs in warehousing or other historically low-pay industries.  It’s time to leverage the city’s talent and leadership in life sciences and health research, as well as technology. Catherine will work with Invest Ottawa to develop a new stream of work. 

To help fill job vacancies and address labour shortages, Catherine will advocate for provincial investments and programs to enhance training and connect more underemployed and unemployed workers to in-demand jobs in Ottawa.

Foster Ottawa’s entrepreneurial community for the future

Catherine will establish a roundtable to engage with the entrepreneurial community on the post-COVID recovery and the industries of the future, identifying ways to revitalize and to prepare Ottawa‘s economy for the next decade and beyond. The roundtable would include representation from a diverse group of entrepreneurs, including women, newcomers, racialized people, 2SLGBTQI people and youth.

Stimulate our local food and agriculture economy

Farming and food within Ottawa is a huge economic driver. We have a farming sector that we can further develop to meet local demand and address food insecurity in our communities. Catherine will work with local partners so that all local farmers — small, large and new — can meet demand, including through farmers’ markets, ensuring local food procurement by the City, and as an advocate at other levels of government.  

Stimulate tourism through strategic initiatives

To cultivate more economic opportunity, Catherine will work with Ottawa Tourism to create an official Ottawa Tourism Strategy.

Ottawa is a festival town. As Mayor, Catherine will support the community events, spaces, festivals, and gatherings that make Ottawa so vibrant. Catherine will also implement and support the City’s new Nightlife Economy Strategy, encouraging more evening festivals, food markets, and sporting events to support tourism and encourage economic development. 

Build a vibrant city with robust municipal services

As Mayor, Catherine will build a vibrant city with the services we need, like reliable transit, in order to support both small businesses, the workers that keep them running, and the visitors and tourists who come to Ottawa every year.

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