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Kawartha Lakes unveils age-friendly business strategy

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April 12, 2017 - On April 11, Council was presented with the age-friendly business strategy for Kawartha Lakes. The strategy has been developed over the last year by the Age-friendly Steering Committee with the support of the City's Economic Development division. The work was made possible by a grant from the Ontario Senior Secretariat to develop an age-friendly business strategy to increase the age-friendliness of our region.

The strategy supports the City's strategic goal of enhancing access to community services. Two of the age-friendly goals involve supporting local businesses to look at their business through an age-friendly lens. The Age-friendly Business Recognition Program provides resources, tools and assistance to help business owners identify, promote and improve their age-friendly features. Some examples of age-friendly features are wide and clutter free aisles, large print signs, accessible washrooms, respectful staff and senior discounts.

Through engagement with local business people and older adults in our community, the Age-friendly Business Engagement committee has produced a set of tools including a guide, checklist of accommodations and training. These tools are available to any business in the region and can be found at this link: . http://www.advantagekawarthalakes.ca/en/businessResources/age-friendly-business.asp.

"Through the research stage of this project, we found that there are already many age-friendly accommodations being made in Kawartha Lakes. An interesting example is a grocery store that formed a partnership with a local Community Support Service to provide rides to the store one afternoon a week. Another retail store holds a monthly seniors day and ensures plenty of seating and available washrooms," commented Lisa Hughes, Project Coordinator for the Age-friendly Business Engagement Strategy.

"Businesses are recognizing the economic impact of older adults and are taking steps to be more accommodating to this age group," continued Hughes.

The make-up of our community is undergoing a fundamental shift as members of the Baby Boomer generation mature. According to Statistics Canada, in 2011, the percentage of the population aged 65 and over in the City of Kawartha Lakes, was 21.9%, compared with a national percentage of 14.8%.

Age-friendly

L-R: Lisa Hughes - Age-friendly Business Engagement Strategy Project Coordinator, Dinah Wilson-Representative from the Coboconk, Norland and area Chamber of Commerce, Lesley Parham - Director of the Alzheimer's Society of PKLNH, Barbara Condie - CKL Accessibility Officer, Doreen Boville - Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit

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For more information please contact:

Cheri Davidson
Manager of Communications, Advertising and Marketing
705-324-9411 Extension 1355
cdavidson@city.kawarthalakes.on.ca

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