The federal government is encouraging Canadian businesses to take part in the new POST (People Outside Safely Together) Promise Program to help customers and employees stay safe as they head back to work.
After signing up for the program, businesses will receive communication and implementation package that helps educate employees on five key steps to workplace safety.
Mary Ng, Canada’s small business, export promotion and trade minister, said there’s still a long way to go before Canada returns to normal, and this package will help businesses until that happens.
“We’re seeing restrictions starting to be lifted, businesses and shops opening back up and many Canadians starting to go back to work, but the threat of COVID-19 is still very real,” Ng said during a media teleconference on Wednesday. “We don’t want to lose the progress that we have made over the past weeks.”
Maintaining physical distancing, washing hands and cleaning regularly are just some of the key steps Ng hopes workers and employees will remember. The program also provides tips and tools for practicing proper respiratory etiquette, including how and when to where a mask.
Business owners who apply can receive a POST Promise poster to display in store windows to show they’re taking part in the program. Ng said that’s necessary part of building public trust as crowds start to return.
“As businesses begin to open their doors, we know that things are not back to normal,” she explained. “Things are still tough. That is where our supports come in. We encourage you, as business owners, to take advantage of the help that is there for you and your employees.”
The POST program is not a certification or regulatory body, so all businesses who participate must submit to local public health office and government guidelines.
The federal government and private sector partnered together to create the program. It’s led by various groups, including the Business Council of Canada (BCC).
“For the restart to succeed, businesses need customers,” BCC president and CEO Goldy Hyder said in a statement released on Wednesday. “That comes from public confidence in everyone committing to doing their part for safety.”
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business will also be a part of the program. CFIB president and CEO Dan Kelly said consumers need confidence in public health before returning to their favourite small businesses, and this program will help make that possible.