The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global event. In addition to the immediate health concerns that it represents for Canada and the world, it has and is expected to continue to have wide-reaching economic impacts. We know that the spread of COVID-19 is creating financial challenges for many people and businesses in our community. As a City, we are also experiencing these challenges. Monthly updates have been provided to Kitchener City Council regarding the City’s financial position since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Today the City releases its sixth monthly update regarding the City’s financial position.

The September update highlights increases in year-end deficit projections for both tax-supported operations and enterprises. At this time, the deficit for tax-supported operations is projected to be $7.1M. The increase from the previous update is a result of revised assumptions related to recreation programming and revenues based on operating experience during the summer months, as well as other projected revenue shortfalls related to supplementary taxes, events, and bylaw fines. Some of the City’s enterprises are also seeing the direct impacts of the pandemic with the Parking Enterprise now projecting a $2.8M year-end deficit and the Golf Enterprise projecting a $600k deficit.

On Wednesday, Aug. 12, the Provincial government announced that Safe Restart Funding was being provided to municipalities to help address operating pressures and impacts due to the pandemic and that it would be distributed in two phases. The first phase of funding would be allocated on a per household basis with Kitchener’s allocation being $5.9M. This funding was welcomed news and will be helpful to address some but not all of the City’s impacts.  Although the City’s direct impacts are greater than the initial amount provided, the Province has indicated that municipalities will have an opportunity to request additional funding through a formal phase two application-based process.

A formal report with final year-end projections and impacts will be provided to Council in early October to support this additional funding request. The City will also decide at that time how the $5.9M provided through phase one will be allocated against the current year impacts.

Read more details in our COVID-19 Financial Impacts: September update report 

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