St. John’s Board of Trade Encouraged by Provincial Government’s Investment in Business
For immediate release
The St. John’s Board of Trade has been successful in its pursuit of support for its members.
St. John’s, NL, September 30, 2020 – The St. John’s Board of Trade is pleased with the investment that the provincial government is making in the business community. 2020 has been a devastating year for businesses and its encouraging to see our government recognize this and the value that small and medium sized businesses bring to our economy.
“We recognize that our provincial government is dealing with a significant deficit and that COVID-19, as well as many other factors has made 2020 increasingly tough for everyone,” said Andrew Wadden, Chair, St. John’s Board of Trade. “This type of support for business demonstrates an understanding of just how tough it has been for businesses this year, and we are delighted to see government make this investment. We asked specifically for COVID relief funding in this budget, and the Minister of Finance has heard us. $25 million has been allocated for small business because we consistently advocated for it and they need it. We anticipate the application process for this funding will not be cumbersome. Small business is getting a boost. We encourage eligible businesses to apply as soon as government allows.”
The St. John’s Board of Trade has been acutely advocating to the Department of Finance (and all levels of government) for support for its membership since the pandemic began. Businesses across the board have been forced to make significant decisions about how to ride-out the COVID-19 pandemic. Most businesses have had to figure out how to right-size their operation by reducing staff, operating hours, number of locations, etc., and some have had to go so far as to permanently close their doors. It has been an extremely challenging time to own a business.
“We have been working closely with our Board of Directors and government to make the case for why additional support for business is critical to our economy,” said AnnMarie Boudreau, CEO, St. John’s Board of Trade. “Even if businesses were able to successfully survive the lost revenue due to the lockdown, there have been significant costs associated with re-opening and adhering to public health measures, etc. In addition to the many businesses who have been forced to operate at reduced capacities, many of our members have also had to make physical adaptations to their space and increase cleaning procedures and frequency—all of which have come with out-of-pocket expenses.”
It is encouraging to see government’s approach to the budget this year—investing in our economy in the most challenging of times is important for business confidence and activity. The St. John’s Board of Trade continues to ask our provincial leaders to be diligent in their assessment of how we can reduce spending and get control of the deficit. “We are looking forward to being a part of the economic recovery plan,” said Wadden. “The time for action and tough decision-making is upon us and we need everyone at the table collaborating and being creative about the solutions. We all recognize a ballooning deficit and systemic problems. The time is now to fix it. We expect solutions and a plan for implementation in the next budget.”
About the St. John’s Board of Trade
The St. John’s Board of Trade is a non-partisan, business advocacy organization. Its mission is to improve the local business climate and enhance our members’ ability to do business and be successful through advocacy and member support and services. stjohnsbot.ca