Windsor-Detroit Businesses Call for Land Border to Reopen
Business owners on both sides of the Detroit River are pushing for land borders to reopen.
A joint Statement has been released from Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC), Detroit Regional Chamber (DRC) and Canada-U.S. Business Association (CUSBA).
The organizations agree the last 16 months have been challenging since the U.S.-Canada border was closed to non-essential travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rakesh Naidu is the President and CEO of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce.
He tells AM800's The Afternoon News there is uncertainty and frustration on both sides.
"Businesses and communities on both sides are equally impacted and every day matters," he says. "We're expecting a quick resolution for this and an expedited border reopening."
Canada plans to reopen land borders to U.S. visitors on Aug. 9, but the U.S. recently announced travel restrictions for visitors via its land borders will remain in effect until at least Aug. 21.
Naidu says business owners would like to see those dates moved up.
"Now that things are getting better and the vaccination rate is improving, I think it's time for us to really look at expediting the reopening and reducing the restrictions," he says.
Every day counts for some businesses struggling through the pandemic, according to Naidu.
"It makes sense for both countries to look into this very carefully and reassess the status of the border," he added.
Travel restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the virus are estimated to have cost Canada's gross domestic product (GDP) $27.9 billion to $37.1 billion and the loss of 400,000 to 500,000 jobs in 2020.
With files from Kristylee Varley