Businesses in Red Deer’s downtown are among those facing difficulties during the pandemic. The Alberta Chamber of Commerce is urging the provincial government to look at new ways of safely opening more businesses. (Advocate file photo).

Businesses in Red Deer’s downtown are among those facing difficulties during the pandemic. The Alberta Chamber of Commerce is urging the provincial government to look at new ways of safely opening more businesses. (Advocate file photo).

Alberta Chamber urging premier to reopen businesses safely

‘This is simply not sustainable’

The Alberta Chamber of Commerce is calling on the government to safely reopen shuttered businesses.

Ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alberta Chamber is calling on the Alberta government to find ways to safely reopen closed businesses wherever possible.

The call comes after Premier Jason Kenney announced last week that current COVID-19 restrictions will remain in place for at least another two weeks.

“Our position has always been—and will continue to be—that Alberta’s government take action informed by the advice of the chief medical officer of health,” says ACC president and CEO Ken Kobly.

“At the same time, we’re nearly a year into this pandemic and many businesses have been forced to endure months of shutdowns.

“This is simply not a sustainable situation for our job creators or our provincial economy.”

Kobly says that there have been success stories of government working with industry to facilitate limited reopening, pointing to new guidelines that have allowed Alberta registered massage therapists to resume work under certain guidelines as an example.

“As I’ve said many times before, public health is and must continue to be our number one priority. And we’ve seen examples of government and industry coming together to find safer ways for Alberta business to operate,” says Kobly.

“Albertans are keen to get back to work. Unfortunately, the more time that goes on, the less likely that becomes. Time is of the essence to find ways to safely keep our economy going.”



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