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Government must release a plan on re-opening NL economy soon

Small business needs a measured, responsible approach

St. John’s, April 28, 2020 – As public health data shows significant progress in “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling on the provincial government to release a plan soon on re-opening the provincial economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the most recent weekly CFIB survey, 82 per cent of respondents state it is critical for their business to make more sales than rely on government subsidies. Moreover, 76 per cent think it is possible for businesses to be open, while respecting physical distancing guidelines and providing reasonable protection for employees. With advice from the province’s public health officials, small businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador should be able to operate in a manner safe for their staff and customers.

“It has to be recognized that, while necessary, the public health measures have had a staggering effect on small businesses,” said Vaughn Hammond, CFIB’s director of provincial affairs in Newfoundland and Labrador. “They need to begin the re-building process, but this relies on knowing the government’s plan to re-open the economy. Other jurisdictions, like Saskatchewan and New Brunswick, have already released their plans.”

Nearly eight in 10 businesses in the province are currently either fully (30 per cent) or partially (47 per cent) closed due to COVID-19. Many small business owners have been trying to adjust, but depending on the business, it has been hard. For example, businesses requiring face-to-face communication or personal contact are having a particularly difficult time. They will require guidance and advice from public health officials, which may mean purchasing masks and gloves and installing plexiglass or some other barrier to lessen the exposure of employees to the public.

“CFIB is supportive of a measured, responsible approach to re-opening the provincial economy,” explained Hammond. “Small business plays a vital role in the economy and will need the support of government if the provincial economy is to rebound sustainably. Integral to this support is a government plan on how to re-open the economy.”

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Vaughn Hammond, Director of Provincial Affairs, CFIB
[email protected]
About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region, including 2,000 in Newfoundland and Labrador. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at

April 28, 2020

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