A number of new agreements have been signed for businesses to provide services for the territory’s isolation centres.
A total of 76 standing offer agreements have been signed with Northern businesses to provide accommodations, meals, alternate accommodations like bed and breakfasts, catering, security, and transportation services.
The tenders that were issued were meant to allow more businesses to provide services, and also expand the number of locations isolation centres were hosted at, including more hotels and smaller businesses like bed and breakfasts.
“We’re not able to bring in tourists from outside of the NWT, so creating opportunities for those businesses to do business with the government by providing accommodation through alternative isolation spaces — I think it makes a lot of sense,” said Deneen Everett, Executive Director of the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce, said in a previous interview with MyTrueNorthNow.com.
The GNWT opened up a number of tenders for isolation centre services back in December, after a feedback report showed businesses were critical of the territory paying for everyone’s isolation stays.
At the time, Premier Caroline Cochrane said the isolation centres were not spreading the potential economic benefits and opportunities to enough businesses.
“When it first hit, though, we had to scramble. So we contacted whoever we could call, and we just made arrangements to get hotels and to get meals done,” she said.
“While it has been difficult, I am encouraged by the innovation and resiliency of business owners who have found ways to continue to deliver goods and services that our residents rely on,” Cochrane said during her COVID-19 update.