St. John’s Board of Trade Calling on Public Health to Move to Alert Level 2
For immediate release
St. John’s, NL, March 22, 2021 – St. John’s Board of Trade is calling on Public Health to move the entire province to Alert Level 2 without delay.
The tireless work, dedication, and leadership of Public Health is to be commended and we thank them for it. We now need their leadership in reopening our economy as swiftly as possible. When the data shows the risks of COVID-19 in the community are low, we cannot afford to be overly cautious. The damage being done to our economy, business owners, and tens of thousands of workers is tremendous. Every day that a business is not permitted to operate at capacity, or as close to it as is safe, will make it weaker and less likely to survive in the future.
The small number of active cases combined with the absence of any evidence of community spread presents a low risk profile that should allow Public Health to confidently open the economy at a faster pace. The necessary measures and restrictions that have been put in place throughout this past year to keep our province safe have had devastating impacts on businesses and, baring any current evidence of an unacceptable public health risk, we must give them the opportunity to reopen and generate sufficient cash flow to survive.
“Business owners throughout our community understand the need for restrictions when case numbers and risks are high,” said AnnMarie Boudreau, CEO, St. John’s Board of Trade. “But when the numbers and data support, we must be nimble and adjust our reopening plans so that businesses can make money, pay wages, and serve their customers.”
Businesses have and continue to experience significant financial loss due to the pandemic. While they are not going to be able to make-up for lost time, it is incredibly helpful to allow them to operate with less-restrictive measures when COVID-19 allows. Forcing businesses to continue to operate under tight measures can be the difference between survival or not. This past year has been tough, and we have seen many examples of businesses that have not been able to withstand the restrictions that COVID-19 has inflicted. “Every day that a business can open its doors and serve customers is a day that matters,” said Justin Ladha, Chair, St. John’s Board of Trade. “Businesses throughout our community have demonstrated they can safely operate in accordance with Public Health measures. Unless there is compelling evidence not to do so, let’s promptly let them get back to business at capacities that allow them to be sustainable—our economy needs it.”
About the St. John’s Board of Trade:
The St. John's Board of Trade is Newfoundland and Labrador's business advocate. We are a community of more than 720 members, combining the collective power of industries, sectors, and diverse perspectives. Together, we are a developing a thriving business community in St. John's.