Dear Mr. Kenney,
The Town of Fox Creek recently received a letter from our fellow municipality the Town of Ponoka regarding concerns over disproportionate funding for rural small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their ultimate request for support in voicing these concerns is easily provided as this is an issue also realized by ourselves.
Though we agree that all businesses have been impacted in one way or another as a result of the pandemic, we also agree that rural small businesses have had the unique struggle of not having a similarly large customer base and funding supports to help them recover post pandemic compared to that of businesses in larger centers.
The negative impacts of the roller coaster of openings, closures, and other restrictions since March 2020, has not and will not end with the reopening of the province. There will be a long-term uphill battle for many while they recover, and without further support from the provincial and federal governments, there is an increased chance that those businesses will not recover at all.
It is unfortunate that rural communities continue to struggle obtaining the necessary supports and services required to ensure that their resident’s have everything they need to live happily and healthily in their communities, now we must add the struggle of financial instability to that. It is these struggles that drive residents and businesses from our communities and prevent potential newcomers from coming, making it even more difficult for those that remain.
With all of this considered, we ask for the province to support the Town of Fox Creek and all other rural communities by increasing funding for their small businesses and ensuring the continued growth of rural Alberta. We also ask that you provide further support voicing these concerns and petition on our behalf at the federal level.
Jim Hailes, Mayor
VIEW SIGNED LETTER HERE