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Kamloops Chamber pleased with BC Re-Opening Announcement
As the Province expresses plans to restart the economy, the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce calls on the government to focus on collaboration with industries across all levels in order to safely support local communities and business.
The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce is very pleased to hear the provincial government announce its plan to begin relaxing public health orders and set the conditions for a safe restartng of economic activity in British Columbia.
At the same time, the Chamber encourages all levels of government to consult with local business owners and with the Chamber, to provide timely and relevant advice on reopening. Over the past several weeks, the Chamber has been working closely with its members in addressing their concerns and needs and can offer tremendous insight into our members’ industry specific requirements during this challenging time.
“Our business community has shown tremendous patience and resilience over the past several weeks,” said Kamloops Chamber of Commerce president Tyson Andrykew. “We want to ramp up economic activity while protecting our employees and customers.
Governments and medical authorities need to develop clear and predictable measures that align with other jurisdictions and minimize unintended consequences to give British Columbians the confidence to return to their workplaces and frequent businesses in their communities, said Andrykew
“Supporting local businesses in opening safely is going to be critical,” Andrykew said.
Part of that support includes providing clear direction to businesses and consumers on what is permissible. For instance, for businesses who wish to re-open, it is necessary to minimize or avoid feeling pressure from either the public or other business owners to remain closed for fear of negative public perception.
“We heard from some of our members that felt tremendous pressure from customers to go beyond the provincial guidelines in restricting services as the crisis took hold,” said Andrykew. “The province needs to take a leadership role in making sure the public knows what is permitted so businesses do not feel shamed for following the rules.”
The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce specifically endorses the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s five key considerations to help businesses prepare for reopening the economy:
All hands on deck: Decision-makers need sound advice from a broad set of stakeholders: The
crisis has shown good policy comes from broad stakeholder input. Success will require advice from civil society, labour, and businesses of all sizes and sectors. The conversations need to start now in a structured manner. We recommend that the government create a task force to provide timely, realworld advice.
Don’t reinvent the wheel: Learn from international best practices: A number of industrialized economies around the world are ahead of Canada on their COVID-19 recovery and have already begun reopening their economies. Canada can draw upon lessons learned from successful and unsuccessful processes in comparable jurisdictions.
Together, apart: Interprovincial alignment: Both in good times and throughout the pandemic, we have seen the effects of misalignment between provinces and territories. Although provinces will reopen at different speeds according to the public health conditions in each region, it is important to align reopening policies and requirements whenever possible to minimize costs and confusion for businesses operating across provincial boundaries. Businesses also need access to personal protective equipment to meet public health requirements in all regions.
From emergency to growth: Policies that maximize recovery: Temporary financial support programs have been crucial to help companies and Canadians stay afloat through the pandemic. However, we must also ensure sustainable public finances. How and when will we transition from existing financial support programs to policies that spark growth and reduce the strain on the public sector? Canada needs a plan to move away from emergency subsidies to a healthy and growing economy.
Back to trade basics: International trade: Canadian businesses rely on the international trade in goods and services. We need to re-establish global supply chains so we can get our businesses running. Although it will take much longer to fully restore international trade movement, businesses need short-term measures to permit movement of cargo and business travellers. Canada needs a trade reboot plan.