According to a survey done in June, 79 per cent of Revelstoke businesses said they expect to have difficultly implementing all of WorkSafe BC’s guidelines for safe re openings.
The main concern businesses shared was being able to accommodate as well as enforce social distancing.
The Business Restart Survey was done by Revelstoke Community Futures and the Business Information Centre to help gain better understanding of what specific supports may be needed to aid local businesses in recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey ran from June 10-24, prior to the adoption of Phase 3 of the provinces reopening strategy. 113 businesses and organizations responded to the survey, which is approximately 11 per cent of the total in the city.
“A limitation of the survey is the timelines of gathering the feedback and reporting back the findings given the ever-changing business climate,” reads the report.
At the time the survey was done, 54 per cent of businesses said they had closed completely due to the pandemic. Of those, 74 per cent had reopened, with half making modifications such as reduced hours or limited services.
Ten per cent of businesses who closed during the pandemic had not yet re-opened at the time of the survey.
Other key challenges identified in the survey include:
- staff safety
- staff unwilling to come back to work
- city communication on opportunities
- PPE procurement
- mental health support
Based on the results Community Futures recommended:
- communicating about available support opportunities
- marketing the community as a welcoming and safe place to visit
- evolving communication from the city to the business community
- supporting the identification and implementation of new technology
- developing further mental health supports for entrepreneurs
- developing a mentorship group to support businesses in planning for physical distancing measures
Since the survey was closed June 24 many concerns have been addressed.
The Federal government has announced the extension of the wage subsidy to December 2020, the city has developed an information sheet, Small Business BC launched a non-medical PPE marketplace to help businesses source PPE, the Revelstoke Recovery Task Force has initiated a Welcome Visitors video project and Community Futures is planning to host mental health workshops in the fall.