On behalf of The Morinville and District Chamber of Commerce represents 160 businesses in the Morinville and Sturgeon County region, which employ when fully operating a substantial amount of Albertans in all sectors of the economy. Our Chamber fully supports the decision to allow all retail businesses to remain open in a limited capacity and refraining from trying to decide which goods are “essential” vs “non-essential” as this sector is important to our economy.
We feel the latest round of closures require more information surrounding the available science and data than has been provided to date. The businesses that remain closed have followed health protocols, implemented new procedures, and spent valuable time and resources to do their part to protect their patrons and staff members. The businesses in our region that are affected have made it clear to us they support the measures taken to protect their well-being, however, their frustration with the current information determining, which businesses can operate and those who cannot is unclear. We are asking the Alberta Government to outline a re-opening plan that clearly defines the guidelines in detail with the actions expected of operators to begin reopening and keep our economy going.
Our Chamber of Commerce respects that there is a balance that needs to be considered between protecting our citizens and health system and the economy. We need answers for our business owners who have poured their hearts, souls, and savings into their dreams only to have them put on hold for an indefinite period of time; while business appreciates the revised relaunch grant being made available, it does not make up for the costs endured and the uncertainty faced as a result of the closure.
The pandemic has proven to be difficult to predict, anticipate, and control, however, every extension of the restrictions moves these Albertans and those who depend on them for employment, closer to the point of no return and insolvency with long term consequences for the fiscal future of our province.
Thank you for your consideration. We are always available to meet and discuss this matter further.
Shaun Thompson, President Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. The gap between shrouding our small businesses while large retail outlets like COSTCO remain open to the public is inexcusable.