The State Of The City 2021: Moving Forward Together
As we look back on the past year, we’re overwhelmed by our community’s strength and commitment. 2020 was an unprecedented year of change, challenge, and adaptation. As the premier city in the Inland Empire, Ontario’s residents, employees, business owners, and leaders banded together to overcome these challenges and create new ways to connect our community. This is YOUR Ontario, and together, we’re building a bright future!
Looking Back: 2020 In Review
COVID-19 suddenly and drastically transformed almost every aspect of our lives. Throughout the first tenuous months of the pandemic, information was flying, guidelines were changing on a daily (if not hourly) basis, and confusion was running rampant. To provide residents, workers, and leaders with essential and up-to-date information about the virus, current regulations, and state and county-wide programs, the City of Ontario created a Coronavirus Updates webpage.
During the initial stay-at-home orders, the City worked with essential businesses to provide the necessary letters for their employees that would allow them to continue operations. During this time, the City also worked with local businesses and manufacturers that retooled their production lines and operations to make the personal protective equipment (PPE) that was highly in demand.
The City’s Economic Development Team created a Coronavirus Resources hub to provide local, county, state, and national information and resources for employees and employers. We’ve continued to update the page with the latest information surrounding safety guidelines, protocols, and government grants and funding.
As the pandemic continued to develop, the Economic Development Team worked with restaurants, personal care services (including nail salons, barbershops, beauty salons, etc.), and other sectors that were restricted in their operations, to create and establish temporary outdoor operations.
A Community Proves Its Strength
Despite the challenges the pandemic created, Ontario’s entire community came together to keep our City thriving. We maintained the same level of City services – trash pickup, Staff available to answer questions, permit submissions and Strike Team Meetings, allowing businesses to do any construction or tenant improvements during this time.
Additionally, services to our residents did not stop and Staff found creative solutions to connect with the community. The Community Life & Culture Agency created a Virtual Resource Center composed of over 500 videos, informational links, and resources. The Ontario Museum of History & Art served more than 3,500 people through online programs and virtual activities and classes. The Ontario Senior Center partnered with local restaurants and services to support the increased demand of lunches for the senior community, providing almost 90,000 meals. The Ontario City Library had over 3,000 books checked out through curbside pickup. The Recreation Department held drive-thru events for Halloween and the winter holidays, in addition to the virtual tree lighting ceremony and the virtual Battle of the Bands. Clearly, Ontario stepped up in a big way for its citizens during the pandemic!
Moving Forward In Changing Times
One thing the pandemic couldn’t stop was Ontario’s growth. We welcomed several new local businesses, restaurants, shops, and community spaces in 2020 and even more will make Ontario their home in 2021. New housing developments are being planned throughout the City to accommodate our growing demand.
As we continue to look to the future, the City of Ontario is committed to supporting our citizens and businesses. The Economic Development Department is working on a COVID-19 Business Recovery Strategy to help Ontario’s businesses thrive in a post-pandemic world. Although 2021 isn’t without its own challenges, this year is full of promise and hope. If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s how much a community can do when we stand together and support each other. This is our Ontario, and we can’t wait to shape a new future with you!