On Thursday April 9th, the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce’ Business Resilience Working Group (BRWG) released a list of remondations to the different levels of government in the Northwest Territories.

The BRWG was tasked with the job of making policy recommendations for the municipal, territorial and federal governments with accordance to the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Yellowknife economy.

The following details the seven recommendations done on behalf of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce’ Board of Directors;

  • Recommendation #1: Invest some of the $833,000 in the Downtown Development Reserve and some of the $2.4 million from the Revitalization Initiative Reserve into a COVID-19 Relief Program.
    • Members of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce’s Business Resilience Working Group would be willing to work with the City of Yellowknife to determine the most efficient and
      effective solutions.
  • Recommendation #2: Provide interest-free deferral of property tax installments scheduled for March through to December 31, 2020.
  • Recommendation #3: Provide interest-free deferral of water/wastewater payments for all businesses from March through to December 31, 2020.
  • Recommendation #4: Waive all development fees for April 1 to December 31, 2020.
  • Recommendation #5: Waive all business-related permit fees until December 31, 2020.
  • Recommendation #6: Transition all business licensing and permitting online by December 31, 2020.
  • Recommendation #7: Work with the federal and territorial governments to develop a COVID19 Commercial Rent Strategy for Yellowknife. This strategy should focus on providing rental relief for businesses who have been forced to close or are unable to generate revenue as a result of COVID-19.

According to the release, the presented recommendations are built on the belief that all levels of government should invest in preserving our business community and helping entrepreneurs survive the current crisis.

YK Chamber of Commerce concludes the list saying “We’ve heard from our membership – Yellowknife businesses need immediate relief.”