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Chamber urges government to listen to business voice

Results of survey are in
Summer Chamber of Commerce
The Yorkton Chamber of Commerce encourages the province to consider business impact of COVID-19 restrictions. (File Photo)
YORKTON - The Yorkton Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey of its members between Dec 13 and 15, regarding COVID-19 restrictions.

In response to the question ‘The current Public Health Orders are in place until January 31. What do you want the government to implement February 1?’ 67.3 per cent of the respondents indicated they wanted to see an encouragement of personal choice on masks and vaccinations, removing the mandatory requirement for either.

In response to the question, ‘If your business is required to ask for proof of vaccination or a negative test, do you believe your business is impacted?’ 64 per cent of the respondents indicated a negative impact.

In response to the question, ‘Since July 2021, how would you rate your level of trust in the provincial government as it pertains to the handling of the pandemic?’ six per cent of the respondents indicated an increase; 32 per cent indicated no change; 18 per cent indicated a slight decrease; and 44 per cent indicated greatly decreased.

In a recent meeting with three local MLAs, Greg Ottenbreit, Yorkton,  Terry Dennis, Canora-Pelly, and Hon. Warren Kaeding, Melville-Saltcoats, Chamber President Marty Sveinbjornson shared the results of the survey.

“Not everyone is hearing the business side of COVID,” said Sveinbjornson. “That voice needs to be heard.”

Sveinbjornson pointed out that many businesses were heavily impacted during the early months of the pandemic and businesses such as those in the restaurant, fitness and travel sectors continue to be strained financially due to the requirements placed upon them by Public Health. No provincial assistance has been provided to these businesses. Many are at risk of closing their doors.

The Yorkton Chamber is deeply concerned that the government considers business closures, while unfortunate, acceptable collateral damage in its fight against the pandemic.

Since the onset of the pandemic and throughout 2021, the Yorkton Chamber has sent letters to Premier Scott Moe and other elected provincial officials urging them to consider the impact public health measures have on business.

Since the meeting with the MLAs, the presence of the Omicron variant continues to spread. The Yorkton Chamber urges the Government of Saskatchewan to ensure that any public health measures they may enact have minimal or no adverse effects on the business community.