Businesses will close if lockdown extended, West Nipissing Chamber told

·2 min read

Businesses can’t survive lockdowns without more help, according to some of participants in a virtual meeting organized by the past president of the West Nipissing Chamber of Commerce.

Government and community leaders, along with the Chamber’s board of directors, took part in the meeting facilitated by past Chamber president and local business owner, Joanne Valliere. The topic was about how the extended lockdown is impacting small businesses across the region.

Many local business owners say they are facing financial hardships and do not feel that the current government funding and resources are sufficient.

“It has been evident that local businesses are struggling, and the government grants and loans are not cutting it. It’s not the same offering curbside, it can’t make up for the loss that we are having,” Valliere, said. “Owners and their employees are feeling the financial pressure. If the lockdown is extended past March 8, we will lose many small businesses this time. It is possible for businesses to open in a safe way.”

Rebecca Foisy, executive director of the West Nipissing Chamber, has been an advocate for small business owners in the region. “I am in constant contact with Chamber members, listening to their feedback to address their concerns,” said Foisy. “Local business owners want to reopen their businesses in a safe manner, and I’m working closely with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to bring these concerns to the attention of government officials.”

In the session, Liberal MP for Nickel Belt, Marc Serré, declared that his office will be making an official request to determine what data the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is utilizing that lead to the extended lockdown in the region.

The full meeting is available for viewing on YouTube HERE.

Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada.

Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca