STC Framework for Recovery: Economic Development and Tourism

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The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the economic engines of our community. With businesses closed, events cancelled, and the movement of people and goods significantly slowed, the pandemic has widened social and economic divisions further deepening the consequences of inequality.


St. Catharines Economic Development and Tourism Services department has begun the process of recovery planning by setting our sights on a resilient and prosperous future for our residents. In our Pandemic Recovery Strategy, we are taking an outcome-based approach to recovery, setting clear goals with the initiatives and action items to achieve them.


Key Outcomes

Economic resilience iconGrow STC business community’s economic resilience and diversity
Cross-protection iconCross-protection between successive waves
Infrastructure iconInfrastructure creates economic growth
Recovery iconA financially stable recovery for STC businesses and residents
Hyperlocal governance iconHyperlocal governance
Downtown STC iconRestore Downtown STC as Niagara’s urban playground
Digital iconWidespread digital adaptability
Tech-enabled STC iconTech-enabled post-pandemic STC
Stable housing iconStable housing creates a stable workforce
Safe STC iconSTC safe to live, safe to visit
Tourism iconBring leisure tourists back to STC
Hospitality iconHospitality space recovery
Representation iconEnsure STC business needs are represented
Partnership iconLeveraging partners, leveraging assets


Stage 2 Initiatives and Actions

Economic resilience iconWin this Space:
  • Work with the St. Catharines Downtown Association to identify public / private opportunities and relaunch the program
Infrastructure iconChampion and expedite public and private investment using data driven decision-making:
  • Work with local businesses to ensure their employee transit needs are well-aligned with necessary alterations to work environments and schedules
Hyperlocal governance iconInvest in place-making strategies to restore confidence in public spaces, and neighbourhoods:
  • Reimagine public space for pedestrians and businesses including street closures and lane reductions, where possible, as a practical tool for public health risk reduction

Restore public confidence in municipal recreation assets:

  • Work with Community, Recreation and Culture Services to build key messaging around outdoor and recreational assets
  • Develop a discovery program encouraging (when safe to do so) the use of outdoor space, connection of paths and parks in neighbourhoods, hiking and cycling trails
Digital iconHelp more businesses enhance their online presence:
  • Explore partnering with Brock University and Niagara College student co-op programs to establish a digital services squad to provide businesses with digital support
Safe STC iconRestore civic confidence and pride:
  • Partner with local post-secondary institutions to develop a digital welcome package for new and returning students, and faculty
  • Explore creation of a STC Handbook containing information about transit, local businesses, downtown, market, PickUpSTC, virtual entertainment options, and off-campus hiking and cycling trails
  • Create an on-line IGTV series geared to incoming students about the city to run during “Welcome Week,” with alumni guest co-hosts highlighting unique elements of life in the city
Formalize sub-regional tourism marketing partnerships with neighbouring municipalities:
  • Combine the urban and rural experience through shared marketing resources / messaging
  • Share staff expertise


We will continue to update this page as we move forward with recovery efforts so stay tuned, or check out the St. Catharines Economic Development and Tourism Pandemic Recovery Strategy for further economic recovery plans, including ongoing efforts from past stages. If you have any further questions relating to how we are moving to support local businesses and the economy through the recovery process feel free to reach out on our Q&A feature below.


The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the economic engines of our community. With businesses closed, events cancelled, and the movement of people and goods significantly slowed, the pandemic has widened social and economic divisions further deepening the consequences of inequality.


St. Catharines Economic Development and Tourism Services department has begun the process of recovery planning by setting our sights on a resilient and prosperous future for our residents. In our Pandemic Recovery Strategy, we are taking an outcome-based approach to recovery, setting clear goals with the initiatives and action items to achieve them.


Key Outcomes

Economic resilience iconGrow STC business community’s economic resilience and diversity
Cross-protection iconCross-protection between successive waves
Infrastructure iconInfrastructure creates economic growth
Recovery iconA financially stable recovery for STC businesses and residents
Hyperlocal governance iconHyperlocal governance
Downtown STC iconRestore Downtown STC as Niagara’s urban playground
Digital iconWidespread digital adaptability
Tech-enabled STC iconTech-enabled post-pandemic STC
Stable housing iconStable housing creates a stable workforce
Safe STC iconSTC safe to live, safe to visit
Tourism iconBring leisure tourists back to STC
Hospitality iconHospitality space recovery
Representation iconEnsure STC business needs are represented
Partnership iconLeveraging partners, leveraging assets


Stage 2 Initiatives and Actions

Economic resilience iconWin this Space:
  • Work with the St. Catharines Downtown Association to identify public / private opportunities and relaunch the program
Infrastructure iconChampion and expedite public and private investment using data driven decision-making:
  • Work with local businesses to ensure their employee transit needs are well-aligned with necessary alterations to work environments and schedules
Hyperlocal governance iconInvest in place-making strategies to restore confidence in public spaces, and neighbourhoods:
  • Reimagine public space for pedestrians and businesses including street closures and lane reductions, where possible, as a practical tool for public health risk reduction

Restore public confidence in municipal recreation assets:

  • Work with Community, Recreation and Culture Services to build key messaging around outdoor and recreational assets
  • Develop a discovery program encouraging (when safe to do so) the use of outdoor space, connection of paths and parks in neighbourhoods, hiking and cycling trails
Digital iconHelp more businesses enhance their online presence:
  • Explore partnering with Brock University and Niagara College student co-op programs to establish a digital services squad to provide businesses with digital support
Safe STC iconRestore civic confidence and pride:
  • Partner with local post-secondary institutions to develop a digital welcome package for new and returning students, and faculty
  • Explore creation of a STC Handbook containing information about transit, local businesses, downtown, market, PickUpSTC, virtual entertainment options, and off-campus hiking and cycling trails
  • Create an on-line IGTV series geared to incoming students about the city to run during “Welcome Week,” with alumni guest co-hosts highlighting unique elements of life in the city
Formalize sub-regional tourism marketing partnerships with neighbouring municipalities:
  • Combine the urban and rural experience through shared marketing resources / messaging
  • Share staff expertise


We will continue to update this page as we move forward with recovery efforts so stay tuned, or check out the St. Catharines Economic Development and Tourism Pandemic Recovery Strategy for further economic recovery plans, including ongoing efforts from past stages. If you have any further questions relating to how we are moving to support local businesses and the economy through the recovery process feel free to reach out on our Q&A feature below.


 The City, its businesses and residents are in uncharted waters. We're using our full tool kit to navigate these the path to recovery for the local economy, developing novel solutions alongside time-tested strategies to ensure our business community moves forward along with us. There's a lot of uncertainty, but we are here to help. If you have any questions about economic recovery, please don't hesitate to leave them here and we will do our very best to answer.

STC Framework for Recovery: Economic Development Q&A

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