IT’S AN INCREDIBLY TOUGH TIME TO BE A BUSINESS OWNER IN B.C., as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an impact on operations and revenues.
Many are struggling to stay afloat, especially in the wake of another round of restrictions to help combat this new wave of the virus.
With the Omicron variant spreading so quickly, they’re also being told to prepare to operate at a reduced level as more and more workers get sick and won’t be able to come to work. The headaches and challenges seem to be never-ending.
Business owners were supposed to feel reassured by the NDP’s announcement of a COVID-19 Closure Relief Grant program. But two weeks after that announcement, businesses are no closer to seeing relief because the NDP still hasn’t started accepting applications.
This type of delay is simply unacceptable, especially when you consider that the NDP already had the template and information from the Business Recovery Grant program it launched last year. This latest offering of financial help should have been in place the day restrictions were announced on Dec. 23, 2021 — not several weeks afterwards.
While the NDP dawdles, businesses continue to suffer. Each day of delay increases the risk that our local businesses won’t be able to hang on and will be forced to shut down for good. This is bad for business owners and for our family members, friends and neighbours that they employ — and it’s bad for our communities, as these local establishments contribute so much to the vibrancy of where we live.
We’ve now entered year three of this pandemic. It’s long past due for the NDP to get its act together and provide real support to businesses who are following public health orders and doing all that’s required of them.
Sadly, instead of acknowledging their incredible efforts and getting financial relief into their hands quickly, the NDP continues to leave them in the lurch.
Peter Milobar is the MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson and Opposition House Leader.