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Surrey must get serious about COVID-19 to avoid business closures: SBoT

Summary

The Surrey Board of Trade is urging locals to get serious about the COVID-19 pandemic

SBoT warns if further restrictions are introduced, many businesses may not survive

Fraser Health region has been hard-hit by COVID-19, with about 75 per cent of active cases reported there

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Surging COVID-19 cases in Surrey make it B.C.’s hot spot and is has companies worried they’re going to have to close down again just as they were reopening.

In an effort to get people taking the pandemic seriously, the Surrey Board of Trade is working with the South Asian Business Association of B.C. on a campaign to get the message out.

“Really hard-core messaging relating to, if you don’t take this seriously, then there’s going to be significant consequences. There’s going to be more provincial health orders, more restrictions,” Anita Huberman, CEO of the SBoT, says.

The campaign is imploring the people of Surrey to be personally responsible for following COVID-19 precautions at work and at home.

“I think in the future, if things do not improve, the provincial health officer is going to have to have a much more strict regional focus in terms of countering the increase in virus cases,” Huberman says.

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With a high number of manufacturing business in B.C. based in Surrey, Huberman says there are a lot of people in that community with a lot to lose.

Fraser Health is reporting 75 per cent of the active cases of COVID-19 in B.C. right now, and more than half the cases since the start.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit businesses hard, forcing many to close, either temporarily or permanently.

Huberman says it’s a situation we can’t afford to make worse.

“If we do have another economic shut down, these restaurants that are hanging on by a thread, I hear, will shut down for good,” she tells NEWS 1130. “We can’t afford another economic shutdown. We can’t afford to lose any more jobs, and that’s why we all need to make sure, in our professional and personal lives, that we are adhering to health and safety protocols, because we can’t afford to lose any more money in this economy.”

Public health says the base of the massive surge in coronavirus cases is people having private gatherings.

For the most part, Huberman believes people are doing the right thing. However, she notes some are not, and that they are “compromising the whole of the Fraser Health region.”

She hopes the campaign will help get through to Surrey residents, and says it’s being launched in English as well as some other languages.

“It’s going to be integral to make sure we’re all taking care of each other, not only in the workplace, but when we’re at home. And to make sure that we’re making those sacrifices in the short term so we have a better economic future tomorrow.”