Most conversation of late has been about the economy opening again after a long lockdown. With the vaccine rollout being ramped up, we know the end of the pandemic is in sight. It is now just a matter of when, and if, it can open sooner than predicted.
The Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce is still encouraging government to look at wage and rent subsidies, and not any more loans. The last thing small business needs currently is more debt. With more vaccines being administered we are hoping that indoor dining can start up soon, along with salons and gyms getting the green light to open safely.
The Chamber still has supplies of the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Kits which are free of charge to all small-medium sized businesses to detect the virus. Funded by the Provincial and Federal Governments, the StaySafe™ program provides free rapid antigen point-of-care tests for employees of small- and medium-sized businesses to detect cases of COVID-19 in the workplace that might otherwise be missed, helping to keep workers and their families safe. Small & medium businesses in Stratford, St. Marys Mitchell and around the region can order these kits and get results in 15-20 minutes from testing. You can request kits for your business by going to www.stratfordchamber.com
Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, recently issued this statement on the reopening plan announced by the Government of Ontario:
“We are pleased to see the government use evidence-based metrics and thresholds to indicate when Ontario will move from one stage of reopening to the next. This will provide businesses with a runway for operational planning. We look forward to collecting additional feedback from the business community and hope the government will be remain open to hearing from stakeholders across the province. We all want our communities, businesses, and services to reopen as quickly as possible, but this should not come at the expense of public health. To help prevent a fourth wave, we implore the province to continue pursuing a speedy vaccination roll-out in addition to deploying free rapid tests. These are essential parts of curbing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities so that we can all get on a path to economic recovery as soon as possible.”
Hopefully we’ll transition to a post-COVID-19 world later this year if the rates continue to drop. We should not lose sight of the inventiveness we learned, and we should use the tools to create a better and healthier workplace. People have become more inspired to create something new or retool their business plan. The harnessing of those creative ideas was highlighted with the recent announcement of Rob Staffen as the Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year. Rob got involved in the business world at the age of 14 in St. Marys has never looked back. Congratulations to Rob and we look forward to hearing from him when he accepts his award at the Business Excellence Awards ceremony in September. More details about the evening will be coming soon.
In the meantime, Stay Positive & Test Negative.
Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce
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