Work-from-home initiatives leaving Charlottetown businesses with fewer customers, mayor says
Philip Brown says businesses already struggling due to COVID-19
The mayor of Charlottetown is concerned about the impact of the P.E.I. government's new work-from-home initiative.
In addition to setting a target of having one third of provincial employees working from home, the province also recently announced funding for Island businesses and non-profits to support employees working from home.
The Telework Adaptation Fund offers up to $2,500 to eligible businesses and organizations to help ensure their employees have what they need to work from home at least two or three days a week.
Charlottetown Mayor Philip Brown said restaurants and cafés are already struggling through the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraging more employees to work from home will only make matters worse.
We're just asking the government, please look at the effect that this will have on municipalities.— Philip Brown
"We're just asking the government, please look at the effect that this will have on municipalities, and I'm speaking about Charlottetown restaurants, bars, retail shops, coffee shops — they're all being affected by the economic crisis that's coming from this pandemic."
Brown said other municipalities with federal offices, such as Summerside and Montague, could be impacted as well.
Steven Myers, P.E.I.'s minister of transportation, infrastructure and energy, said it's part of the government's Sustainable Transportation Action Plan.
"It's for businesses right across Prince Edward Island who want to help their employees work from home," he said. "It's been in the books for a long time, but we were able to hustle it along a little quicker because of COVID. So this isn't about Charlottetown."
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With files from Angela Walker