Paul Orazietti is reaching out to local businesses and workers affected by the coronavirus.
He recently sent out an email on behalf of the Cloverdale BIA instructing people where to find help with employment insurance claims if they’ve been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I sent the email out because of a combination of factors,” said Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale BIA. He said although the three level of government are all working in different ways to help out, it can be very confusing for people.
“The City had a meeting with all the Chambers and the BIAs,” he said. “The City agreed they would provide information on help, they would try to monitor the situation, and they said they would look at relaxing [payment periods for] property taxes and things like that.”
He said there have been a variety of mixed messages disseminated by all levels of government.
“Part of what I was trying to do was to get some clarity out there,” he added. “The strategy with dealing with this is not clear.”
He said the biggest fear he hears from workers and small businesses is that no one knows when the pandemic will start to end, or when things will start to rebound.
“The situation is really making it hard for people to say, ‘Hey, how can I weather this?’ For some businesses, it’s going to be very difficult for them to survive.”
“There is important information about employment insurance related to COVID-19,” he said.
He also shared a phone number (1-833-381-2725) that is “dedicated to inquiries regarding EI claims related to COVID-19.”
He said there are different bodies that are providing services.
“The Chambers and BIAs are service organizations, so our role is to help try to connect with these bodies.”
He said they are working with the City in order to try to help as much as they can with keeping businesses feeling normal.
“We’re kind of like mall managers,” he said. “We’re trying to be a voice.”