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As businesses confront coronavirus and its potential ramifications, the president of the Eastern PEI Chamber of Commerce urges all to be guided by what is best for the health and safety of employees and all area residents.

“This is an unprecedented crisis that is already having a major impact on our economy, our province and country,” says Russ Compton. “It requires an unprecedented response.”

This response must start with local businesses following recommendations of Public Health Officer Heather Morrison, he said.

“Dr Morrison is a voice of trusted, fact based information. While we understand the harsh economic impact combatting COVID-19 will impart, we cannot shy away from our role as neighbours and community leaders.”

Mr Compton says it is reassuring to see businesses respond to the crisis by modifying their operations, including allowing workers to work remotely. He urges all businesses to keep up to date by sourcing information from trusted government and media outlets.

“This is a not a crisis where you should be guided by a meme on social media.”

The Chamber recognizes the importance for government of all levels to ensure the coronavirus pandemic has as small an impact on the business community as possible.

“I urge all Islanders to support local businesses and suppliers faithfully, now and in the coming months,” he said.

“We will do whatever is necessary to represent the interests of all businesses in eastern PEI. We know there is fear. We know employers and employees have questions about what tomorrow will bring and what programs and services will be made available to support them. We will ensure your voice is heard,” says Mr Compton.

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