The Surrey Board of Trade is calling on the provincial government to provide financial help to businesses and organizations that have been forced to shut down because of the pandemic.
Anita Huberman, the board’s CEO, says “immediate support is necessary.”
She said while some businesses and industries have been asked to temporarily shut down while they wait for health and safety plans to be approved “with new guidance” from the provincial health officer, “they still have payroll and other expenses that they are obligated to pay.
“When businesses and organizations are asked to shut down temporarily, they can’t just apply for the federal government programs, since not all businesses meet eligibility requirements, and it takes time for funds to be approved, such as with the wage subsidy or rental programs through the federal government,” Huberman noted.
“It is understandable that restrictions must be increased due to the exponential increase in COVID-19 cases in BC, and specifically in the Lower Mainland. Tourism, arts and culture industries for example are severely impacted in this pandemic,” Huberman said. “We need to avoid blanket approaches in dealing with the coronavirus. Don’t punish all businesses for the sins of a few.”