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Chamber urging residents to shop local as restrictions go into effect Friday

Officials with the Grande Prairie and District Chamber of Commerce are applauding the province in their handling of the second wave of COVID-19 restrictions.

Chair of the Board of Directors Larry Gibson says the new protocols may not change a great deal for what many of the businesses have been facing for the last few months, especially when it comes to things like masking, signage, and following the sanitization initiatives.

“I think they took a pretty balanced approach when they looked at it, the worst-case scenario would have been another lockdown, which would have been devastating for a lot of our businesses out there,” he adds.

Gibson suggests that while the news wasn’t the worst, as it stopped well short of a full scale shut down, business owners should be cognizant that things could change rapidly. He adds that planning the next steps while there is still time is a prudent move.

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“In their statements, they left it open for re-evaluation in mid-December… that’s a little scary because they could have further restrictions there depending on where the numbers go.”

Gibson says the hard work, and dedication by members f the business community can not be overlooked since the beginning of the pandemic, and he is urging everyone in the Grande Prairie region to continue doing their best to keep shops open.

“Follow the guidelines and protocols that have been established, I know it’s hard for everyone out there, not being able to see your family members and being restricted as we are, but we really need to get ahead of this and need everyone to pitch in and do their part.”

As of Friday, retail businesses and services may remain open but will be restricted to 25 per cent of occupancy limits.

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