When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, the Six Nations of the Grand River Economic Development Corporation drew on its philosophy of community caring and support to help.

The Workforce Planning Board is celebrating the business for their employees being Workforce Heroes.

The corporation’s trust arm, Six Nations Economic Development Trust, created the Emergency Relief Fund to help the community’s on-reserve non-profit organizations purchase Personal Protective Equipment.

Five non-profits shared in $4,500 to buy face coverings, hand sanitizer, gloves, plexiglass barriers and cleaning supplies – supplies they could ill afford otherwise. The Trust invited applications for a second round of funding in December.

“As a community owned development corporation, it is our responsibility to assist where we can, especially during times of uncertainty,” said President/CEO Matt Jamieson.

The corporation is involved in the community in numerous ways, including managing Six Nations’ economic interests, being a partner in renewable energy projects, and operating tourism assets, a business park and bingo halls, and more.

To help, the corporation:

·         Sourced PPE, including 10,000 N95 masks for Six Nations Emergency Service use

·         Converted Chiefswood park into a temporary care facility

·         Offered rent cuts to tenants in its Oneida Business Park

·         The Six Nations Bingo Hall made donations to the local food bank

·         And staff assisted the elected band council with crisis management, including running the local COVID-19 hotline.

A large team of staff working from home used their community spirit, work skills and creativity to help Six Nations tackle the ever-changing, fast-moving crisis.

“We’ve always known our employees were team players, but seeing them pull together during this difficult time was inspiring,” Jamieson said. “They were continuously adapting to the ‘new norms’ and encouraging each other.”

The corporation’s mission for the community include improving social conditions and creating an environment for individuals, families and businesses to thrive. Employees are grateful they’ve been able to deliver on those important goals and give back to the community, Jamieson said.

“COVID-19 has put a strain on individuals and businesses. It is very important to us that we help assist the community through this unprecedented time.”

Visit Six Nations Economic Development Corp.’s website to learn more about the organization.

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