Consumer confidence, recalling workers, and access to PPE among top concerns of local businesses

Findings included in May 'report card' from Peterborough mayor and warden's COVID-19 economic recovery task force

A sign indicating the reopening of a small local business during the COVID-19 pandemic

The top concerns of local businesses for economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic include challenges in giving consumers confidence that it’s safe to shop again, recalling workers, and reliable access to personal protective equipment (PPE).

The findings are published in the first monthly “report card” from the economic recovery task force led by Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien and Peterborough County Warden J. Murray Jones.

The report card, which was issued on Thursday, May 28th, is updated regularly following meetings of the task force.

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Businesses are finding it difficult to convince former employees to return to work, even with the federal government’s wage subsidy program. This applies particularly to employees who are parents, given the closure of schools and the lack of child care options,

Businesses are also concerned that former employees who are now receiving the $2,000 monthly Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are unwilling to return to work, especially given concerns about the safety of the workplace and the lack of child care options.

Another reported concern is instilling confidence in consumers that businesses are safe places to visit and in employees that the work environment is safe, particularly with challenges in maintaining operations while respecting physical distancing requirements.

A related concern is access to PPE, as well as health and safety signage and other materials, and where to find it.

Other top concerns include access to clear and consistent information and resources on government programs and reopening guidelines, challenges facing seasonal businesses that have a limited time to generate revenue (including in agriculture, tourism, and construction), delays in development approvals, and financial concerns including qualifying for COVID-19 relief financing.

The complete May report card is available at