The Chamber has added our voice to an open letter on behalf of BC's hospitality, tourism, accommodation, liquor and cannabis retail businesses.
The letter is calling for a quick end to the BCGEU strike that is damaging businesses still trying to recover from the pandemic.
“The craft brewers and the local distilleries, people like that are having problems because the people that are on strike are the ones that would put their product on the shelves of stores,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams told CHEK News. "So they’re now wondering whether they have to stop production and lay people off.”
These businesses are at risk if the strike continues and "will unfairly bear the brunt of serious economic consequences including business closures and layoffs, cancelled events such as concerts and weddings, loss of consumer confidence, and damage to BC’s reputation among tourists and consumers," the letter states.
"Up until 2020, B.C.’s hospitality and tourism sector was growing faster than the provincial economy as a whole, with more than $22.3 billion in revenue annually, and supporting more than 250,000 jobs. But two years of restrictive Public Health orders, mandated closures, and capacity limits caused losses in business, revenue, and workforce, and left us with high debt loads and depleted bank accounts. Approximately 20% of businesses in our sector did not survive the pandemic. The rest are still struggling to recover."