Government’s return to stage 1 a huge blow to businesses
The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce shares the business community’s disappointment with the Government of Alberta’s decision to revert back to phase 1 and fundamentally shift the goal posts, parameters and trigger points of the relaunch strategy.
When first introduced, the phased plan was a welcome addition for the certainty it provided and businesses ability to plan based on public data relating to hospitalizations and ICU capacity. Unfortunately, when phase 2 was modified despite hospitalizations being well below the target, business owners felt misled, betrayed and lacking confidence in government plans. These feelings were exemplified with the postponement of phase 3 along with the April 6 announcement that represented a structural change in the plan.
Chamber CEO Rick More commented on the latest announcement: “Businesses do not turn on and off like a light switch. Operators and owners must have adequate staffing, inventory and so on. For the government to ‘switch-off’ a big portion of our hospitality industry is a devastating blow to weakened industries that made significant investments and adaptations to operate in a safe manner.”
Working with local businesses and the Alberta Hospitality Association, the Chamber sent a letter to the Premier and members of the Emergency Cabinet Committee advocating for the government to create a plan that enables a sustainable business-led recovery with better communication and a focus on risk-mitigation and safe-as-possible operation - not additional restrictions. A full copy of the letter can be found here.
More continued, “this step backwards is clearly a huge blow to business confidence and hope for a sooner than later economic recovery. Neither government nor effected businesses retain the fiscal capacity to survive these types of restrictions. Additional and ongoing supports are required from the provincial and federal governments to assist in the survival of businesses affected by restrictions. On a local level we are continuing discussions with the City of Red Deer and pressing the urgency of measures they can take on a local level to alleviate the financial stress and help our local businesses.”
The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan, collaborative leader in building a vibrant community and fosters an environment where businesses can lead, be innovative, sustainable, and grow.