Sales have dropped considerably at Castlegar restaurants during the COVID-19 crisis. File photo

Vernon chamber calls for renewed restaurant support

Specific regional case goals could motivate and keep government accountable: Chamber

The local chamber is urging Vernonites to support local restaurants after the province announced the suspension of dine-in service for three weeks in a “circuit breaker” after a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is also calling on the province to establish specific regional restrictions to lessen the blow on the business sector.

The new rule, which also affects indoor adult group fitness and indoor religious services came into effect at midnight March 29.

Patio dining and take-out are not affected, and individual or one-on-one fitness is still allowed with existing restrictions.

“North Okanagan residents have done an amazing job of supporting their favourite restaurants and bars for the past year and while the goalposts have changed again, we can continue to do our part by ordering food in or taking advantage of establishments of patios,” Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce general manager Dan Proulx said.

Proulx said restaurant owners and their staff are members of this community and vital to a healthy economy.

“They need to know they matter to us,” he said.

“We absolutely understand that the pandemic continues to pose a risk and our thoughts are with those who have contracted the virus or who have lost a loved one,” Proulx said. “However, we also need to reflect on the burden all businesses and employees have endured for the past year.”

Businesses have been quick to adapt and retrofit their facility to adhere to rapidly changing public health orders, Proulx said, and revenue streams and job security has been disrupted.

If the province were to outline specific region-by-region case numbers that must be achieved in order to ease health orders, Proulx said that may motivate members of the community.

“A clear goal for region-based case numbers may mobilize individuals to enhance their personal protocols to reduce transmission, as well as keep the government accountable,” said Proulx.

READ MORE: B.C. stops indoor dining, fitness, religious service due to COVID-19 spike

READ MORE: GoFundMe launched for Vernon’s Schubert Centre


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