An online survey completed by 3,412 Canadian Federation of Independent Business members between February 9 and 14 shows the majority of businesses support the removal of COVID-19 restrictions. According to the survey, most Alberta small business owners support the removal of public health measures, including PCR border tests, proof of vaccination, vaccine mandates for employees, and masking rules.
“While there is majority support for removing COVID restrictions among small business owners, it should be noted that the view is not universal,” said CFIB President Dan Kelley in a media release Tuesday morning. “Some business owners feel that vaccine passports make customers feel safer.”
Seventy-eight per cent of those surveyed support the removal of travel restrictions, including PCR tests for crossing the border, and 76 per cent support removing all pandemic restrictions. Seventy-nine per cent support removing capacity restrictions in on all business sectors.
The numbers are slightly lower when it comes to removing vaccine mandates for employees (73 per cent) and mandatory masking requirements (72 per cent).
CFIB says with COVID-19 restrictions being removed in Alberta, the province needs a plan to keep businesses open with any reintroduction of restrictions on business activities needing to be based on clearly communicated, scientific evidence with targets and dates shared for their removal.
“Only 30 per cent of Alberta small businesses are making normal sales,” said Annie Dormuth, CFIB Alberta provincial affairs director. “Lifting restrictions does not mean that customers will flood back to their local businesses. Until public health officials and governments can reassure consumers that it is safe to return to office work, shopping, dining, events and travel, the COVID economic hangover will continue.”