Windsor-Essex Chamber Demands Financial Help for Local Businesses

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WINDSOR — The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce is calling on the provincial government for some financial help to support area businesses that are in jeopardy of closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The call comes after Windsor-Essex was, once again, left off the list of regions to move to Stage 2 of the economic recovery plan which allows for more businesses to reopen.

Speaking on AM800s' the Dan MacDonald Show, Chamber CEO Rakesh Naidu says since this region is the only region still in Stage 1, the province should step in and offer a financial package.

He points to a survey done where 40% of businesses indicated they wouldn't be able to come back.

"So there is nothing that our businesses can do, they have done everything they can, what was asked of us,  we have done it, we have sone what was expected of us,  we have complied with all regulations, rules and every advice that we received." says Naidu noting that businesses are not at fault for the current situation.

Naidu says this is a very stressful and painful time for business owners.

"A lot of businesses are going down every day, we hear from our members, businesses that are not coming back and are cancelling memberships."

He says the province can play a roll in keeping these businesses afloat.

"We are asking that the province step up. We are asking that it is time you look into the Windsor-Essex area businesses and provide them with the much needed support, and that could be in terms of a financial package for the Windsor-Essex area."

Naidu is also calling for 'select re-opening', pointing out up to 75% of businesses are outside of the Leamington-Kingsville area, therefore some businesses can reopen safely.

The province is keeping Windsor-Essex in Stage 1 due to the large number of cases coming from the agri-food sector.