Thursday, December 24, 2020: The Ontario provincial government announced a province-wide  shutdown aimed at interrupting or slowing current community transmission, reducing mobility  and enabling our health care system, who has reached critical limits.  

The announced restrictions will be in effect in southern Ontario, including the Prescott-Russell  area, from Saturday, December 26th, 2020, to January 23, 2021.  

The Prescott Russell Business Alliance certainly understands the great challenges the  pandemic is placing on our health care system.  

We believe that the period of the imposed restrictions will have a devastating effect on our small  and medium-sized businesses, which have already been suffering for several months and which  are once again unfairly penalized. Our local and regional economy is in danger of being severely shaken with permanent closures throughout the Prescott-Russell territory. 

Our business community is made of passionate people who have given their hearts and souls  since the start of this crisis. They are physically and mentally exhausted. They have followed all  the instructions imposed by the provincial authorities. They have reopened their businesses  following the first confinement and found themselves in a position where finding employees was  difficult are generating lower profit margins and some are even operating at a loss. They do this  to keep their employees employed and to continue offering their services to the community.  

For the local economy and the prosperity of our region, we believe that all businesses, whatever  their vocation, are ESSENTIAL and that some are unfairly singled out.  

According to the information available, the Ottawa and Prescott-Russell regions have worked  hard to achieve some control of the pandemic in their geographic area.  

The Prescott-Russell Business Alliance supports the statement made by Mayor of Ottawa, Jim  Watson following the announcement of the 28-day provincial shutdown. We also invite elected  officials from all levels of government in Prescott-Russell to intervene with the provincial government and work with the Eastern Ontario health unit to obtain a reduction in the restriction  period imposed for our region.  

The Business Alliance is the grouping of the three active chambers of commerce in the  Prescott-Russell territory.  

Julie Brisson, President, Prescott-Russell Chamber of Commerce  

Marc Lecompte, President, Hawkesbury Chamber of Commerce  

Karl Parent, President, Clarence Rockland Chamber of Commerce