The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce is asking for the province to reopen businesses sooner rather than later.
In a letter sent to Premier Jason Kenney and MLA’s Laila Goodridge and Tany Yao, the organization argued the current COVID-19 measures could have drastic long-term effects on many of the 500 businesses they represent.
They noted they understand why these restrictions were brought in, however, they’re hurting many who were following all previous orders and are being punished by these restrictions.
“The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce stands in support of members who have made it clear, while they are understanding of the measures taken to protect their well-being, they are confused and frustrated with current information dictating which businesses are and are not able to operate,” read the letter which was co-signed by Executive Director Dianna De Sousa and Chair Tom Gear.
The government of Alberta announced last week they were extending the current measures until at least January 21 as daily totals of COVID-19 continue to remain high across the province.
The Chamber is asking the GoA to consider a regional approach when deciding when to rollback on measures.
“Fort McMurray is uniquely isolated from other major population centers in the province, for this reason, we are also requesting this re-open plan be viewed from a regional perspective, considering population density.”
If the restrictions continue as is, small businesses will need additional supports. The Chamber added the current supports being offered by the province are helpful, but doesn’t cover the entire costs they’re losing each day they remain restricted under the measures.