Dear Members and Stakeholders,
We thank you for your patience and trust in us as we navigate through a challenging time in our province. We know you want to get back to business. The Chamber will continue to provide periodic email updates throughout the three-day lockdown and two-week circuit breaker.
We remain committed to ensuring your voices are heard loud and clear.
Communications on Lockdown
- To view all restrictions being enforced during Modified Red Alert Level, click here.
- To view our official statement on the Modified Red Restricted Measures, click here.
- To view yesterday’s Chamber COVID-19 update, click here.
Emergency Paid Leave Funding
Yesterday, the Chamber sent a letter to Premier Dennis King outlining our recommendation for the province to provide targeted emergency paid leave funding to address gaps that exist for those required to self-isolate during COVID-19.
- We asked for the government to develop a provincially sponsored emergency paid leave program for those directed to self-isolate would encourage employees to responsibly follow the CPHO’s directives and not worry about the loss of income.
- Many businesses are struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic and are unable to fund emergency paid time off on their own.
- In response to this letter, we were happy to see Min. Matthew MacKay announces a $1 Million fund to help Islanders who are off sick and don’t have access to paid sick leave or maybe experiencing a gap in trying to access federal supports.
- The Chamber recognizes that the Canadian Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) does provide supports to those who miss more than 50% of work due to COVID-19 public health directives. Gaps remain for employees who don’t meet the criteria for the CRSB program.
- To view our letter, click here.
Members in the News
Last evening, CBC PEI quoted two Chamber members in a story about retailers and restaurants working to ride out another lockdown.
- Joe Dow of Dow’s Fashions stated concerns of the lockdown: “I think you’re going to see some stores closed for the long-term over this. The longer this lingers on, the harder it gets.”
- Jeff Sinnott of Red Island Hospitality Group noted the drastic drop in business even before the lockdown announcement: “Even on Saturday, we had quite a few reservations canceled. There is fear out there.”
- “It’s getting very frustrating for the restaurant industry when these protocols are not being followed, and this is the impact it’s having on our Island, our industry, our restaurants,” he said.
Provincial Supports Announced
Yesterday, the Government of PEI announced supports for employees impacted by the latest restrictions and public health measures:
- Relaunching of the PEI Emergency Payment for Workers – a $500 payment for workers of self-employed Islanders who have completely lost their income or had their hours reduced by 12 or more per week from February 28 to March 14.
- Application to be completed by employees.
- Apply here.
- Relaunching of the Employee Gift Card Program – $100 grocery gift cards for workers who have been laid off between February 28 to March 14.
- Application to be completed by employers.
- Apply for the Employee Gift Card Program here.
- Additionally, Government will launch a $1 million dollar fund in the coming days to help Islanders who are off sick, do not have access to paid sick leave, or are not eligible for federal government benefits.
Provincial Public Health Updates
Earlier today, Dr. Heather Morrison announced 4 new cases of COVID-19 on PEI, bringing our active case total to 22.
- Dr. Morrison noted that over 10,000 tests have been administered since Saturday, with just over 2000 test results pending as of this morning.
- Dr. Morrison also stated that the province’s goal is to have all Islanders over the age of 16 vaccinated by the end of June 2021.
- The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was approved by Health Canada and Dr. Morrison expects to find out in the coming days how many doses PEI will be receiving.
- An announcement will be made tomorrow regarding the 72-hour lockdown and the next steps for the re-opening of non-essential services.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me or our Policy and Communications Manager Sam MacPhail at email@example.com.
That’s all for now. Continue to stay safe everyone.
Penny Walsh-McGuire, CEO
Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce