Dear Randy Pettapiece, MPP Perth Wellington,
The Stratford City Centre Business Improvement Area (BIA) Board of Directors want to express our disappointment with how this most recent announcement of the provincial lockdown has been handled. While we, and our members fully support the work being done to protect our population from the ongoing pandemic, we do not support the last-minute announcement and disregard for the financial stability of our already suffering businesses.
More care should have been taken to ensure that these small and medium sized businesses – recognized by all levels of government as being the backbone of our economy – were given time to plan and prepare for this massive disruption. Money was spent that could have been saved, employees were brought back to work, food was purchased that will now be wasted. This is not the way to show these businesses that their government is there for them and wants them to get through this incredibly difficult time.
In addition to this, there is still a clear and well-documented advantage being given to big businesses, which have enjoyed record profits throughout the pandemic. Despite many organizations calling for equity from our government, very few changes have been made.
Our businesses want to be part of the solution and help all levels of government overcome the challenges brought on by the pandemic, but they need support in return. That support has sadly fallen short at this time when many need it the most.
Sincerely, Rob Russell, Chair on behalf of The Stratford City Centre BIA Board of Directors
CC: John Nater, MP Perth-Wellington Mayor Mathieson and Stratford City Council