Calgary Chamber concerned about abrupt and steep offramp for federal supports; welcomes targeted programs for hardest hit businesses
The following statement is attributable to Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce:
Calgary, October 21, 2021 – “While we are pleased to see ongoing support for hard-hit businesses and the tourism sector in particular, the immediacy of the changes to key federal pandemic support programs introduces significant uncertainty and instability for businesses. Although necessary to adapt and target supports as our economy recovers, new scaled back support programs offer a steep and sudden drop-off and fail to acknowledge the ongoing challenges businesses face through the fourth wave. Businesses need advance notice and a more gradual phase out of support programs to plan and prepare for significant changes to government supports.
“At the same time, the Calgary Chamber is pleased to see targeted supports for businesses that continue to need assistance and a clear plan to phasing out pandemic relief measures altogether in Spring 2022. Given the tremendous challenges faced by the tourism sector throughout the pandemic, the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program will help businesses in this sector, particularly given we know their recovery will be slow.
“Throughout the pandemic, Alberta businesses have relied heavily on pandemic supports and existing federal supports have been critical to their survival. In a survey earlier this year, over 70% of Calgary businesses indicated they utilized government supports. With unemployment numbers in Calgary still among the highest in the country, it is likely our economic recovery will be slower. The Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program will therefore be necessary given the scale of revenue loss businesses continue to grapple with, and effectively addresses the different positions businesses find themselves in across the country.
“The international vaccine certification announced today by the federal government is a critical step in advancing the economic recovery of our tourism and international business travel sector, removing significant barriers to international trade. Vaccine certification will aid the safe reopening of our economy, and with international borders reopening imminently, an international certification system provides business with a simple way to ensure the safety of staff and patrons, and bolster consumer confidence. We encourage the Alberta government to accelerate the adoption and availability of the national system.
“As governments chart a path to economic recovery, they must borrow from the lessons of our recent history and take a prudent approach to lifting supports and restrictions to ensure our businesses continue to be a driving source of our economic recovery.”
About the Calgary Chamber
The Calgary Chamber is an independent non-profit, non-partisan business organization. For 130 years, the Chamber has worked to build a business community that nourishes, powers, and inspires the world.
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