This week at the Future Ready: Business Summit 2020, hosted by the Peterborough Chamber and Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, there was a session called “What Happens If…”. While this session focussed on business partnerships, succession planning and managing stress, it could have easily included
the need for business to be prepared for emergencies, such as a COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, there was discussion amongst the event team on a health protocol. The protocol was developed and then communicated to attendees, along with signage at the event. That protocol is now on our website and all event pages as the safety and well-being of our members and community are of the utmost importance.
Some of the suggestions in the protocol include:
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has pulled together a five-page guide for businesses that will help them ask the questions that will ensure they are prepared. The guide is designed to assist business planning and continuity efforts. It includes links to some of the most relevant and credible information, best practice tools and resources.
The guide begins with the following overview:
"In addition to the work of the health care industry when a pandemic hits, businesses play a critical role in protecting the health and safety of employees, and limiting the negative impact on the economy and communities. They also need to have business continuity plans that will minimize the impact on the business itself and facilitate a speedy resumption of activities if the business has been forced to scale back or close during the pandemic. Preparedness, not panic, is the best way to mitigate the risks posed by a COVID-19 pandemic to the Canadian economy and our citizens.
Should COVID-19 escalate in Canada, some of the things businesses need to plan for include:
The guide breaks planning down into five sections:
Each of the first three sections has a series of questions that a business or organization should be asking themselves, such as:
The final two sections offer links to resources such as:
Locally, Peterborough Public Health also has extensive information and frequently asked questions on their website: peterboroughpublichealth.ca
A link to the Canadian Chamber guide for business can be found on our website: