The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt across the local business community – a number of non-essential businesses have been forced to shut down by the provincial government.
Now, local business leaders are sending a letter of advice to get the attention of the Ford and Trudeau governments.
The KW and Cambridge Chambers of Commerce, Communitech and Waterloo EDC have put together several insights to help the government offer better support for struggling local businesses.
President and CEO of the Greater KW Chamber of Commerce, Ian McLean, tells Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS, everyone needs to do their part, whether that means working from home or closing your business for a short period of time – and the government should do its part too.
“They have to be there to support those that are not essential services at this time. So we can deal with the public health crisis, but we also have an economy that is strong and is ready to rebound after the health crisis is over.”
He says we need to allow businesses that cannot afford to shut down an opportunity to go into a deep freeze, allowing them to keep their employees.
“Basically, we can put parts of the economy that are not working in a deep freeze so we can pull it out in two to three months – whatever this takes, and still have businesses that have employees that can rev up and create the economic prosperity and wealth that we’re going to need to get over this in the long term.”
He says another thing the government can do to help is to temporarily allow cities to operate with a budget deficit.
“We have to give, over the short term, the ability for municipalities to work with businesses or individuals, to say ‘for the property packages, if you can’t pay the money right now, we’ll work with you in the long term until the recovery starts,’ but it might mean in the short term, municipalities might have a deficit.”
The letter also has suggestions on ways to support non-profit organizations, Canadian banks and business taxpayers.