(Black Press file photo)

Lacombe Chamber of Commerce happy to have measuring stick for reopening plans

The Chamber says the phased relaunch plan by the Province is a frame work for local businesses

The Lacombe Chamber of Commerce is “overall happy” to see a reopening plan coming from the Province, but says there is still a lot of unknowns in the plan.

Monica Bartman, executive director of the Lacombe Chamber of Commerce, says the Chamber and local businesses have been asking to see some sort of plan come from the Province for a long time.

The important part of the plan, according to Bartman, is knowing how the provincial government is measuring when businesses can reopen.

“We’ve been asking for a while to know how and when businesses can reopen… It is important for us to know what measuring stick is being used,” Bartman said.

“A plan is better than no plan.”

While Bartman says the Chamber and many businesses are happy to see a plan, there are still areas of confusion and holes in the plan.

The Feb. 8 reopening, which started the provincial relaunch, allowed in-person dining to resume at restaurants across the province.

Step 1 also allows for gyms to reopen to one-on-one training only.

“We will see benefits from this plan, but they are fairly limited and only for a select few,” said Bartman.

For instance, gym owners say very few of their clients and members actually access personal training.

For many, personal training is a cost they can’t afford, on top of a monthly gym memberships.

So, while allowing for personal training is potentially good for the trainers to get back to work, many are still missing out.

“It is something, for sure, but it is only something that will benefit a select few,” said Bartman.

Places like dance studios were left confused and scrambling when the plan originally allowed only one-on-one training and then changed over the weekend to allow for school-related and limited indoor and outdoor children’s sport and performance activities.

“It is hard to plan for the unknown… There are parts of the plan that are fairly clear and many parts with less clarity.

“It is a good starting point,” Bartman said.

She continued to say the plan set out by the provincial government is a “frame work” to help provide an idea of what is to come.

“It is really challenging for us… people just want to get back to the in-person routine.”