Charlottetown, PE – A Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce survey of its members issued from May 11-13, 2020 found the majority of respondents are in favour of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick opening their shared border at the beginning of the Renew PEI Together plan’s Phase 3, which at the time was scheduled for June 12, 2020. On Friday, the provincial government announced the anticipated start date of Phase 3 will now be on June 1, 2020.
Of the 230 respondents, 62 percent answered yes to support the border opening on the previously scheduled Phase 3 date of June 12, 22 percent responded no, and 15 percent were unsure.
“While not what we would consider an overwhelming endorsement, we did learn there is an appetite to open the border between New Brunswick and PEI in June as a way to promote economic activity between the two provinces,” said Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce Interim CEO, Gerard Adams. “With that said, there was also a portion of respondents who either felt like June was too soon or were unsure – so we also sense there is a level of caution coming from the business community.”
Adams added it has been an incredibly challenging time for the local business community. While business owners are eager to reopen their doors and service customers, they want to do so as safely possible.
“In addition to the survey, last week we hosted over 350 business representatives for three roundtables and one webinar about developing their operational plans,” said Adams. “A reoccurring theme from these discussions was business owners’ desire to open as soon as possible, but in doing so, take every measure to ensure the safety of their employees, customers, clients, and the greater public.”
The provincial government indicated they are in discussions with New Brunswick about easing border restrictions, but, have yet to identify a specific time when this will happen.