LNCC Calling for Immediate Provincial Support for Business

Category: News Releases

Mar 2021












MARCH 4, 2021


HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY – The Labrador North Chamber of Commerce (LNCC) is calling upon the provincial government to employ immediate financial assistance for businesses impacted by Alert Level 4 and 5 restrictions, increased access to testing for mobile workers, and the establishment of a regionalized alert system.

“We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly changing situation for government and businesses across the province,” says LNCC Chairperson Andy Turnbull. “We respect increased government-imposed restrictions are necessary for public health, but the restrictions need to come with increased immediate support for businesses. For Labrador businesses to survive, we need immediate and flexible financial and public health supports now.”

In 2020, provincial relief programs such as the Small Business Assistance Program and the Tourism and Hospitality Support Program provided fast and efficient financial relief for employers. While businesses who had not applied before may apply until March 11, the funds need to remain accessible to businesses who availed of this support in 2020, or new programs established immediately.

“Businesses are already in a very weakened state with little-to-no remaining cashflow or cash reserves,” says Turnbull. “We recently polled our members, and they are telling us they need immediate financial support. Many have used up their reserves and access to financing. This is a dire situation for local businesses and the provincial economy.”

Second, the LNCC is concerned with the lack of availability of COVID-19 testing in the region for businesses with operations in several jurisdictions, and who depend on essential workers to support their businesses.

“Our members are concerned with the lack of available and immediate testing for employees who travel outside of the region for work, and for essential contractors, suppliers and service technicians coming to the region,” says Turnbull. “In order to conduct business and allow individuals to operate and move safely, testing must be available in the region when requested to ensure the health and safety of our communities.”

Finally, the LNCC is calling for a regionalized, flexible approach to public health measures.

“Labrador has been fortunate with very few cases throughout the pandemic,” says Turnbull. “We have seen success in other regions in Atlantic Canada with establishing a regionalized alert system and rapid testing upon entry. With the likeliness of additional confined outbreaks, we would like a similar, flexible approach to be employed so businesses located in regions with low-to-no cases can continue to operate safely.”

The LNCC is available to work with government on these measures as it continues to advocate on behalf of its member businesses.

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Julianne Griffin, CEO
Labrador North Chamber of Commerce
(709) 899-5095

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