More lockdowns will punish small businesses: CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is asking provinces to avoid lockdowns and consider other measures amid the third wave of the pandemic.
So far, B.C and Ontario have imposed lockdown-like measures for the next three to four weeks in order to deal with growing COVID-19 cases.
Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province does not need further restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus – just better adherence to the current public health measures.
“The first two shutdowns were devastating with one in six businesses considering permanent closure, for an estimated 181,000 permanent small business closures expected across the country,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly.
“A third-round will only ensure that number grows higher. CFIB urges governments to now make use of the other tools at their disposal, including making widespread use of the millions of rapid tests sitting in warehouses across the country, as well as renewed contact tracing efforts and expedited vaccine rollouts as alternatives to closing battered small businesses.”
A recent CFIB survey found that two-thirds of small businesses would consider using COVID-19 rapid tests to remain open.
“Small businesses are tired of being a scapegoat for governments’ lack of planning or foresight,” said Kelly. “Too often businesses are closed to send a message to the public to stay home while there is scant evidence that shopping at a local store, getting a haircut or having dinner with the family is a real danger to public health. CFIB urges all provinces to reject Ontario’s bizarre approach of shuttering small retailers while keeping big box stores open.”