Community Chamber Report 2019/2020
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been devastating for the Yellowknife business community and our 383 members and their employees. Some businesses have demonstrated creativity to remain partially in operation, while many others have been forced to close due to the nature of their businesses. Overhead costs are quickly depleting financial reserves and businesses are struggling to survive.
It happened very quickly.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic and on March 18, 2020 a Public Health Emergency was declared in the NWT. Businesses immediately felt the impacts.
To help us react quickly to the needs of our membership, we established the Business Resilience Working Group with the goal of making policy recommendations to the municipal, territorial and federal governments. Our working group was launched on April 6, 2020 and our federal recommendations were released on April 8, 2020, followed by municipal and territorial recommendations on April 9, 2020. We’ve been lobbying for our members ever since.
More information on the work of our Business Resilience Working Group, including our recommendations, letters of support and media coverage, can be found on our website: https://ykchamber.com/business- resilience/
These challenging times have required us to be innovative and adaptable. The cancellation of the Spring Trade Show, our biggest revenue generating activity and an important event for the Yellowknife business community, has been devastating. But it has also allowed us to focus our efforts on directly supporting Yellowknife businesses during these challenging times.
We started by launching our COVID-19 Resources and Information page. Frequent announcements from all levels of government were overwhelming for our membership, so we researched and compiled information into a database that the GNWT has recognized as “one of the most fulsome compilations of resources available”. https://ykchamber.com/covid-19-resources-information/
We’ve also launched On Demand Webinars – our weekly webinar program. We’ve had presentations on Managing The Workplace, Leasing, Navigating Federal Support, Force Majeure, and Benefits Through the CRA. All of our sessions are recorded and posted in our online database: https://ykchamber.com/on-demand-webinars/
These are difficult times for the Yellowknife business community, but we’re here to help.
You can reach out to us anytime:
Deneen Everett, Executive Director