LETHBRIDGE, AB – The last thing local businesses need is a hard lockdown, even as the province continues to struggle with a surging fourth wave of COVID-19.
The are concerns among the business community, both locally and across the province as medical professionals push the Alberta government for a weeks-long “firebreaker” to try and get the surging COVID-19 situation under control.
These measures recommend the closing of all non-essential businesses like indoor dining and strict capacity limits on stores and places of worship.
Cyndi Vos, the head of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, says local businesses have already suffered so much and having a hard lock down would not be good.
“We understand what the doctors are saying,” says Vos. “The thought of shutting everything down again, because it isn’t just closing the doors, you have to layoff staff and labour is such a huge challenge right now with employers. So it’s just all these things building up anxiety levels.”
Vos is hopeful the COVID case numbers will come down if we all just follow health protocols.
There’s no doubt Alberta small businesses have been hit hard over the last year and half. There have been at least three shut downs and start ups already and for those shops which are starting to slowly recover, another shut down or lockdown could do serious harm.
Alberta’s UCP government, though has been resistant to locking things down to get this fourth wave under control, despite pressures to do so. Premier Jason Kenney has said he didn’t think doing that would be fair to the thousands of Albertans who have gotten their COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Premier has said he wants to wait to see if the latest health measures currently in place have any effect on the numbers.