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‘No-win situation’: Sicamous business community split on proof of vaccination

District of Sicamous chamber received 39 responses to survey on vaccine passport
The District of Sicamous Chamber of Commerce sent a survey on B.C.’s proof of vaccination mandate to 101 of its members on Aug. 27, 2021. (Zachary Roman/Eagle Valley News)

The business community of Sicamous is divided on proof of vaccination, a new survey shows.

Of those Sicamous business owners that responded to a survey from the District of Sicamous Chamber of Commerce on proof of vaccination, 18 supported it. In opposition were 17 owners, while four were undecided.

A total of 101 chamber members were sent the anonymous survey.

B.C.’s vaccine card will be implemented Sept. 13, when proof of one vaccine dose will be required for a variety of indoor activities (and patio dining). By Oct. 24, proof of two doses will be required for those activities. More information is available on the government of B.C.’s website.

The chamber sent out its proof of vaccination survey Aug. 27, and published the results in an Aug. 31 media release.

“This is a difficult time for chambers in general, trying to support, in many cases, divided communities,” wrote Sheila Devost, executive director of the Sicamous chamber in the release.

“However, it’s our job to advocate for our members. No matter what your personal beliefs are regarding the vaccine or the passport, it’s clear no one wants to burden the already exhausted business owners and their staff with the responsibility of managing this program. We are the frontline staff in our businesses too, and have been feeling the pressure of this brewing around us, it’s a no-win situation.”

The survey also asked business owners if they would support proof of vaccination if it meant no more business lockdowns. That changed things, as 26 said they would support proof of vaccination in that case. Remaining opposed were 12 owners. One owner that responded to all other survey questions did not respond to this one.

The third question in the survey asked if business owners believed they should receive extra provincial funding to train and/or hire additional staff to enforce the vaccine card system. A total of 24 said yes, and 15 said no.

The final survey question asked: What would have a greater negative impact on your business? Proof of vaccination, or additional shutdowns?

Additional shutdowns would be worse, said 26 business owners, while 15 said proof of vaccination would have a greater impact. The chamber reported 39 business owners answered this question. On Sept. 7, Devost clarified two business owners voted for both options as being worse.

Read more: Salmon Arm businesses react to B.C.’s vaccine passport system

Read more: Sicamous residents see room for improvement on Main Street, survey shows

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