May 27, 2021
The Hon. Iain Rankin
Premier of Nova Scotia
Office of the Premier
7th Floor, One Government Place
1700 Granville Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1X5
Dear Premier Rankin:
We are writing to you today, as a follow up of the meeting you hosted with Nova Scotia’s 12 business improvement districts (BIDs), on May 21. First of all, we wish to thank you for your speedy response, productive conversation, and the decisions that have been made over the past week: improvements to the Small Business Impact Grant Part 3, with $5,000 payments to all eligible businesses (though we would note that many businesses impacted by restrictions, including restaurant/retail suppliers, event planners, personal services, are still ineligible for supports); changes to the restrictions regarding delivery of alcohol; and consultations that have been undertaken this week with the business community so that our input can inform the reopening plan that is intended to be released to the public on Friday.
We look forward to reviewing with our members details of the reopening plan, anticipating that it will be a phased approach that will see reduced restrictions tied to ongoing health benchmarks (vaccination rates, new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, etc.), as we have seen in other provinces. We also hope that it will, as far as possible, be able to show a path back toward elimination of all significant restrictions that hamper our key downtown and main street businesses, such as capacity restrictions in stores and restaurants, reduced hours, and interprovincial travel. Businesses crave certainty in order to make decisions, and as much as the plan can provide that, the better.
As requested, the BIDs will send a follow-up letter outlining our requests of the federal government, and any support you can give to those with your discussions with the Prime Minister and other premiers would be appreciated.
We know that high vaccination rates are the key to returning to improved economic conditions, and we will continue to enhance our messaging, individually and collectively, around the importance of vaccines, regular testing, safety protocols, and other Public Health guidance.
Finally, we wish to re-emphasize the importance that the reopening plan be accompanied with a recovery plan, with a variety of programs, initiatives, and investments. Our downtowns and main streets are not a light switch that can simply be turned back on, but rather many switches, which collectively require the cooperation, talent, and creativity of government and the private sector to once again burn brightly in all of Nova Scotia’s communities.
Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission
Downtown Halifax Business Commission
Downtown Truro Partnership
Kentville Business Community
North End Business Association
Porters Lake Business Association
Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association
Sackville Business Association
Spring Garden Area Business Association
Spryfield Business Commission
Sydney Downtown Development Association
The Village On Main – Community Improvement District
The Hon. Labi Kousoulis, Minister of the Department of Inclusive Economic Growth
The Hon. Zach Churchill, Minister of the Department of Health and Wellness
Scott Farmer, Deputy Minister of the Department of Inclusive Economic Growth
Bernie Miller, Deputy Minister of the Office of Strategy Management
Duff Montgomerie, Deputy Minister of Advanced Labour and Education
Jennifer Church, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Department of Inclusive Economic Growth
Fiona Gibb, Director, Projects, Department of Inclusive and Economic Growth