[To Langley City mayor Val van den Broek, RE: MP warns Langley City becoming a ‘ghost town’, langleyadvancetimes.com, Dec. 11]
Thank you so much for your call the other day following the council meeting [Dec. 14]. As I mentioned I have been reaching out to the local business owners, many of them downtown Langley, to see how they are managing due to the pandemic. So many of them are struggling for the reasons we chatted about:
- The poorly designed Rent relief program which most businesses were unable to access
- The challenge of finding labor due to the CERB program penalizing those who work more than 1000 hours
- Extra costs of PPE due to shortages which our mismanaged national stockpile was supposed to have prevented.
- For restaurants in particular, the limited seating levels for social distancing purpose being unsustainable in the longer term
- Recent heightened restrictions further impacting the confidence of residents to eat out even where protocols are clearly in place
As you know, the list goes on and on. Our small businesses are at high risk right now and badly need support. I have done my absolute best through as many communication channels I have available to me to encourage people to support them in whatever way they can. Besides making statements in the house I have published articles in the press, posted on my social media, organized zoom town halls, etc, in the hope of shedding light on the serious nature of the problem.
In my December constituency mailer I have included some fun COVID-friendly activities which encourage families to get out into the riding including a virtual scavenger hunt and a gingerbread house contest. I’m hoping these will be just another small way of supporting our local businesses as well as bring a little bit of Christmas cheer.
I hope the council will consider reaching out to these entrepreneurs as well to see how they can support them through these tough times. While a few have seen increases in their sales or have successfully pivoted their business models, most have been severely impacted and face losing their establishments. Without those small businesses in our neighborhoods, we will lose a tremendous amount of diverse talent. The time to act is now.
Thank you again for all you are doing on behalf of the residents and businesses of Langley.
[Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen]
PS: here is a list of some of the businesses I have visited and spoken with directly:
Ban Chok Dee Thai Cuisine
Me ‘N Eds Pizza
Rib and Chicken
And Sew On
The Passionate Home
Scoop and Save
Masala Indian Bistro
The Pharmacy Langley
And many more…
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