The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is concerned about the impact of further COVID-19 measures. THE (CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is concerned about the impact of further COVID-19 measures. THE (CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Small businesses urging provinces to adopt ‘stay open’ plans

The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses is calling on provinces to move forward with a “stay open” policy.

The call comes as the fourth wave of COVID-19 appears to be setting in across the country and the CFIB worries that could mean more closures of small businesses.

According to the CFIB, four in five or 81 per cent of Alberta small business owners are concerned more lockdowns could impact their business in the fall.

“The last 16 months have been incredibly hard on small business owners, not only financially, but emotionally as well. They can’t take more lockdowns,” said Laura Jones, CFIB executive vice president.

“Provincial governments have the opportunity to reassure businesses that lockdowns are an extraordinary measure that will only be used now as a last resort by announcing a clear policy that keeping things open is a priority.”

The CFIB’s plan includes clear, evidence-based communications around risks and any decisions leading to additional restrictions; direct provincial funding in place prior to announcing additional restrictions; the attention of government and the public on hospitalization rates rather than case counts; more use of rapid testing, if needed and proof of vaccination for travel and large events, if needed.