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Message from the President

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Todd Tuckey, Barrie Chamber PresidentThe organizations, employers and employees that the Barrie Chamber of Commerce represents are all going through some trying times that have never been seen before.

Today we stand united in a shared battle against COVID-19.

We urge every leader in our community to immediately shift focus to the singular objective of slowing the pace of transmission of this coronavirus.

International experience demonstrates that social distancing is the only effective method, and is in the best interests of our employees, their families and our communities.

While this will have significant economic impact on our businesses in the short term, it is critical to weathering this storm and will hasten the recovery.

Both our Federal and Provincial Governments have enacted measures that will only be effective if all employers step up and do their part to protect our provincial health and welfare.

We urge your employees to stop all non-essential travel, whether for personal or business reasons. Travel exposes people to infection, increasing risk for their personal and professional contacts.

Ensure that your employees are practicing social distancing. Facilitate work from home for all non-critical business functions where possible.

Work with government, if necessary, to ensure sick pay for workers. Cancel any in-person gatherings or events. Ensure that mental-health services are in place to support those in need during a period of social isolation.

Develop clear guidelines to protect the health of employees who provide critical services to the public.

Understand that your employees are looking to you for leadership and trusted information in turbulent times. Share trusted advice from public health agencies and communicate consistently and clearly with your employees. Recap the latest guidance and show them what you’re doing to support it.

I am working with Mayor Lehman, Invest Barrie, The Sandbox and others to ensure collaboration for the benefit of all businesses. It is important that we all share information as soon as it becomes available to provide much need guidance for our business community.

Revisit the Chamber social media platforms regularly, as we will be providing constant updates as information becomes available from the different sectors such as the Municipal, Federal and Provincial Governments, the local and Provincial Health Services and our partners at HR Performance & Results Inc.

We implore everyone to please shop local, we need more now than ever to support our local businesses, whether it is a take out or delivery from a restaurant, to gift certificates to help businesses ride out this storm, every little bit will help someone.

We have closed the Chamber office but will still be answering calls and emails. We will be booking appointments for those who require certificates of origin to ensure that you can keep your goods flowing.

Finally, on behalf of all of us at the Barrie Chamber of Commerce, thank you to all healthcare workers on the front lines on whom we are relying to help us through these unique times.

We have enormous respect and gratitude for your efforts, along with those working in the retail and food services sectors, in particular those in the grocery stores.

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