The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce is asking the Ontario government for some sort of financial break to offset the cost of verifying COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Ontario vaccine passport requires businesses to use a smartphone or tablet device to read the QR codes on the Ministry of Health vaccine certificates, whether they're on paper or on a smartphone.
In the letter to Premier Doug Ford, chamber President and CEO Debbi Nicholson said the new Ontario vaccine verify program has additional costs built into it that puts the onus on business people to purchase new technology, such as a tablet or iPad, to scan the vaccine QR codes. Nicholson said the additional cost on the business community is a burden.
"Businesses have suffered greatly over the last 19 months and continue to face unprecedented cash flow constraints and uncertainty," Nicholson said in her letter.
She added that the requirements for the vaccine certificate are a hardship for some business owners.
"Many have operated under reduced capacity for a significant period of time and, with the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine certificate requirements, have had to re-deploy existing workers, or to hire additional staff to verify documents or for security purposes to deal with unruly customers," Nicholson wrote.
In her letter, she suggested the province could take steps to mitigate the hardship on businesses.
"We are asking the government to implement further grants or tax credits to support these businesses," Nicholson said.
She also wrote that no business or region should be left behind in the pursuit of economic recovery and growth.
"Support programs and pro-growth policies should be targeted towards those experiencing the most pronounced challenges. Public health and safety are priorities for all Ontario businesses," Nicholson said.