VANCOUVER (May 5, 2020) – BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson held a successful telephone townhall on Tuesday with small business owners across the province, listening to questions and concerns about where British Columbia is headed in terms of its COVID-19 economic recovery.
“Dr. Bonnie Henry and her team have done a very good job in fighting COVID-19 and saving lives, now government needs to make sure we have a plan in place to save livelihoods as well,” said Wilkinson. “Hearing from small business owners, who make up 98 per cent of B.C. businesses, it is clear that we need bold action to get our economy back on track so British Columbians have jobs to return to.
Hundreds of small business owners joined Wilkinson’s telephone townhall this afternoon sharing how they are struggling to pay rent, find solutions for employees who were laid off, managing expenses with dwindling savings, and navigating the massive amounts of information regarding temporary benefits and supports.
“The effort to combat this virus has truly been an all-in effort by British Columbians, who deserve our gratitude for the sacrifices they have made to help flatten the curve. As government prepares to introduce their re-opening plan tomorrow, it is critical that the plan clearly defines a comprehensive path to economic recovery,” added Wilkinson. “Keeping British Columbians safe remains the top priority, but effectively communicating how government will lead the economic recovery is as critically important. We’re now in a deep recession with hundreds of thousands of people out of work and businesses in peril. British Columbians deserve a government that will be bold and brave.”
Today, Wilkinson sent a letter to Premier Horgan with ideas of what can be done to help B.C.’s economy get back on track. It includes temporary tax breaks, a short-term commercial rent relief plan and a freeze on any further additional costs that would hurt small businesses in the coming months.