27 September 2021
Hon. Arlene Dunn
Minister Responsible, Opportunities NB
Minister Responsible, Economic Development and Small Business
Departmental Building, West Block
P. O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Minister Dunn:
Re: Support for Businesses Implementing Proof of Vaccination Requirements
I am writing today seeking financial support for small businesses as they are in the early days of implementing the Government of New Brunswick’s proof of vaccination requirements for non-essential businesses.
I am aware that funds remain unspent from ONB’s Small Business Recovery Grant program and this purpose would be an appropriate use some of those remaining funds. Recognizing that adjustments will need to be made to the administration and criteria of the program / funding, it will be critical to make this decision quickly in order to get funds flowing to small businesses at this critical time when they need it most.
As you know, many small businesses are still struggling, not only with the direct effects of the pandemic but also with an increasing issue with labour availability. A grant of this nature from the government will help off-set the additional administrative and human resource burden of the proof of vaccination requirements – which, by design, are affecting some small businesses but not others. Many of the businesses that must require proof of vaccination are the same ones that have been hit the hardest throughout the course of the pandemic.
On a related note, it is also critical that the Government of New Brunswick develop and implement a digital solution for proof of vaccination as soon as possible. Premier Higgs has stated that he expects a QR Code system to be ready in October and while it’s important to get the technology right before launching, for small business, everyday counts and the more resources the government can dedicate to that development, the better. This is also an area where government can provide tangible support for small businesses – many will need to purchase dedicated technological devices in order to comply with the government’s proof of vaccination requirements once the digital solution is ready to be deployed.
Thank you for considering this request on behalf of small businesses in New Brunswick – as always, please contact me if you have questions or require further information.
Krista Ross, CEO, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce
cc: Sadie Perron, CEO, Opportunities New Brunswick