KELOWNA – The Province has announced tighter restrictions in the central Okanagan following continued rise in COVID-19 transmission. “This is a major blow to the business community and the community at large and we hope as the province responds to this outbreak that they also consider specific financial assistance for the businesses in the area that are being impacted by these new region-specific orders,” says Dan Rogers, Executive Director Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.
Many small business owners and managers particularly in the hospitality sector were hoping that the remaining part of the summer would help in their recovery but between the rise in COVID-19 Cases and the wildfire situation, there is a big shadow being cast over that recovery.
Obviously, the new restrictions are in a response to increasing case levels and the Chamber understands the need to take action to protect both the public and those workers that are on the frontline in the hospitality sector. Continued focus on increasing the level of vaccination, particularly among our young workforce is essential, not only as summer continues but as our two major post secondary institutions get ready to start a new semester with in-class learning next month.
“The Chamber will continue to inform our members and the business community throughout the Okanagan of the many opportunities that exist to get vaccinated,” says Rogers. “We do want the government though to focus on establishing a clear framework of regulations that will allow businesses to operate in an environment where COVID-19 remains a concern and a small percentage of the population refuses to get vaccinated.”
Restrictions on gatherings will also negatively impact many non-profits that were hoping some of their limited fundraising opportunities would help them through to 2022. Those non-profits also needed continued support to get through this challenging period for our area.
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Dan Rogers, Executive Director, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce