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New restrictions 'devastating' for business community, Orillia Chamber says

'An expedited vaccine roll-out prioritizing essential workers who cannot work from home is critical to preventing these stops and starts that are so damaging,' official says
Bill Ecklund Chamber Awards
The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce president Bill Ecklund says today's stay-at-home orders will be difficult for local businesses.

NEWS RELEASE
ORILLIA DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
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Today, Bill Ecklund, President of Orillia District Chamber of Commerce (ODCC), and Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released the following statement in reaction to further restrictions announced today:

“Ultimately, we want to see a safe and sustainable opening of Ontario’s economy. Closures buy us time at a high cost to business, our economy, as well as the mental and the long-term health of Ontarians," said Ecklund, who is also the owner of Orillia Home Hardware.

"We recognize the restrictions brought in today are to help save lives and curtail the spread of the virus. However, in absence of further supports, new restrictions will simply devastate Ontario’s business community," Ecklund said.

“An expedited vaccine roll-out prioritizing essential workers who cannot work from home is critical to preventing these stops and starts that are so damaging for business. With the Ontario Business Support Grant coming to a close, we call for continued supports that will see businesses through the third wave of the crisis," added Ecklund.

“The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize the local shop local efforts from the residents or our community have been the difference in keeping businesses from closing. During the Stay-at-Home order, we hope that this trend will continue, and that the public utilizes local businesses and restaurants for curbside pickup to keep our community intact," says Allan Lafontaine, Executive Director of Orillia's chamber.

“We call on all levels of government to work together to accelerate vaccinating Ontarians, so we can fully reopen the province," said Rossi. "As the Government of Ontario proceeds with Phase 2 of the rollout, we would like to see the earlier prioritization of essential workers who cannot work from home and are most vulnerable and at risk.

“The Ontario Chamber’s Ontario Vaccination Support Council members are ready, willing, and able to support and accelerate local vaccine deployment efforts," said Rossi. 

"As supply ramps up, we need an all-hands-on deck approach from Ontario’s business community, labour, associations and academia to move these vaccines from freezers to arms as quickly as possible. From vaccine facilities and centres to volunteers to donations to support ride programs, we truly see Council members stepping up to make a difference.” – Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

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