The North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC) is calling for the province to provide support to small businesses amidst the latest COVID-19 restrictions.
The business group says it recognizes public health and a healthy economy are linked but also says it’s unacceptable that nearly two years into the pandemic sweeping new restrictions that impact employers, workers and families are unaccompanied by immediate and commensurate supports.
“We understand why they have to implement these measures, but there’s no talk right now or at least we haven’t heard anything from the government, as to how they’re going to help these businesses get through this period,” says Peter Chirico, Chamber President and CEO. “Right now we don’t know if it’s going to be two weeks, three weeks, three months, who knows?”
Chirico also says businesses need funding.
“They don’t need loans, they don’t need any more debt. They’ve accumulated enough over the last two years. What they need is assistance whether it be forgiveness of taxes, whether it be cash flow, they need that money now,” he says.
The Chamber newsletter says newly imposed public health measures should always be met with immediate and targeted relief, particularly for small businesses which cannot afford any further reduction in revenue.
NBDCC is asking the province to detail any additional steps they plan to take over the next 21 days and beyond.