Alberta relaunch strategy needs small businesses lens, CFIB

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says the Government of Alberta must use a small business lens while planning its economic relaunch strategy.

With other Canadian provinces already announcing details on relaunching their economies, the CFIB is calling on the Alberta government to think like a small business as it balances health and economic considerations.

“While small business owners understand the importance of putting the health and well-being of Albertans first, we know many are anxious to get back to business,” said Annie Dormuth, CFIB Alberta provincial affairs director in a media release Tuesday. “As restrictions are gradually lifted, businesses will need additional help to adjust to a new economic reality and be able to operate while following safe health practices and guidelines.”

CFIB says 17 per cent of Alberta’s small businesses are completely closed, and 49% are partially closed. As such, the business lobby organization says it’s important any plan Alberta puts out ensures small businesses are ready when they are allowed to reopen.

A CFIB survey indicates 57 per cent of Alberta businesses support a campaign that encourages consumers to shop at local businesses.

56 per cent of those surveyed say continued financial help is needed and also want clear plain language guidance on safe health practices that they can use with staff and customers.

More than half (53%) support regular assurance from health officials/government that it is safe to work and shop again.

More than one third (36%) want access to personal protective equipment, including masks, face shields, gloves, and plastic screens at cash registers.

“Alberta’s economic relaunch strategy must ensure small businesses have a clear path forward and allows them time to prepare for a phased reopening,” Dormuth said. “We are committed to working closely with the government to ensure small businesses are ready to reopen safely based on clear guidelines on safe health practices that they can use with their staff and customers.”

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