Brent Clancy, president of the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce, said the COVID-19 crisis can be successfully dealt with if people follow the rules to prevent the spread of the disease, like social distancing. (File photo)

Lake Cowichan Chamber of Commerce takes steps in fight against COVID-19 crisis

Business group asks federal government for assistance

The directors of the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce are working hard to help local businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to its president Brent Clancy.

In a newsletter to members, Clancy said that he had discussions with Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor last week in which he stressed the need for financial help for business owners, as well as their employees, from Ottawa during the crisis.

He said some things discussed for local businesses with MacGregor were the possibility of pauses on liability payments and low interest loans.

“[MacGregor] said his party would be lobbying the government to ensure economic aid was targeted to small business and people working in precarious and part-time work with no benefits,” Clancy said.

“I’m happy to report that on March 18, the federal government came out with its $27-billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.”

Furthermore, Clancy said that, in order to help in the fight against the virus, he shared information with MacGregor regarding a friend in Shezhen, China, the epicentre of the global pandemic, and family in South Korea, which is being recognized as a success in its methods and responses to stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country.

He said he discussed individual actions and governmental tactics used in dealing with the virus’s spread.

“I’m happy to report that in both countries, daily infections have dropped off drastically after measures like the ones our country are taking were enacted,” Clancy said.

“Business is getting back to normal and my friend’s restaurant (in Shezhen) opened back up this month on March 9. I share these points to exemplify that though things may be scary and times may be tough, these sacrifices we are taking will pay off and it shall pass.”

In the meantime, Clancy said the chamber’s scheduled events, such as its monthly dinner meetings and mixers, have been cancelled, the fundraiser Spring Fling has been postponed to Sept. 19, and precautions have been taken at the Visitor Centre to keep it open for bathroom and basic use only until further notice.

“I want to sincerely thank all of our health-care professionals and businesses providing essential services,” Clancy said.

“Let’s make sure they have every resource they need to stay safe. They are our front-line heroes.”

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