Earlier this evening Kitchener Council approved Make It Kitchener 2.0, the City’s new economic development strategy that builds on the City of Kitchener’s transformative Economic Development Investment Fund (EDIF), originally approved in 2004, and its award-winning Make It Kitchener strategy, originally approved in 2015. Make It Kitchener 2.0 will build on the successes of the previous strategies while also addressing new issues and economic recovery pressures due to COVID-19.

Five years ago, Kitchener City Council approved a dynamic new economic development strategy that would go on to win national awards. Make It Kitchener was launched featuring six pillars that focused on how to build a dynamic economy as well as how to build a great city to live, work, and play in.

“Kitchener has been one of the fastest growing economies in Canada in recent years but residents and businesses have faced a lot of new challenges this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “The current challenges haven’t changed where we want to go as a City, but they have changed how we’ll get there. In Kitchener, we own our change, and the time to act with bold economic leadership for our future is now.  Make It Kitchener 2.0 ensures that our city doesn’t just weather the pandemic, but that we build back better and come out even stronger for our collective future.”

Make it Kitchener 2.0 is a bold, ambitious plan to support business recovery, to create a future where everyone can make a difference, and to propel our community forward through investments in the impact economy. It presents a 10-year vision to guide economic development and community initiatives and presents an innovative funding model through a new Economic Development Investment Fund (EDIF) that would enable Council to invest up to an additional $110 million over 10 years, without relying on a tax rate increase. Visionary masterplans will be developed through community consultation to establish a vision and objectives for key lands owned by the City. By maximizing sales value and partnership opportunities for those lands, the City will create funding and assets that can be reinvested to advance the Make It Kitchener 2.0 initiatives and future opportunities.

“In the early 2000s, Kitchener made the choice to embrace change and reimagine our local industries and downtown core,” said Cory Bluhm, executive director, economic development for the City of Kitchener. “Today, we again find ourselves at a point of economic crisis.  But as this community has shown, from crisis comes a collaborative spirit to chart our own brighter future.”

To learn more about the newly approved, bold, and ambitious Make It Kitchener 2.0 plan, visit www.makeitkitchener.ca.


For more information:
Shawn Falcao
Manager, Corporate Communications and Marketing