2.4 Million free rapid tests kits helping small business stay open and keep employees and their families safe through the help of local chambers of commerce and boards of trade
Bay of Quinte – June 9, 2021 – Jointly, the Belleville, Prince Edward County and Quinte West Chambers of Commerce announced that the Ontario Chamber Network has supported the delivery of 2.4 million free rapid test kits in over 105 communities across the province through the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Ontario and Canadian governments.
Through this initiative, the three local Chambers are rolling out free rapid tests for small- and medium-sized businesses in the Bay of Quinte Region. The program is helping small businesses keep their employees and families safe by curbing the spread of COVID-19 at work so that we can get on the path to economic recovery faster.
“Chambers of commerce and boards of trade have been indispensable resources in their communities since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Public health and the health of our economy are interdependent. That is why each of our Chambers is proud to distribute rapid tests to small businesses in Belleville, Prince Edward County and Quinte West. We hope that through this program, we will be able to curb the spread and reopen our local economy safely,” said Suzanne Andrews, Lesley Lavender and Jill Raycroft in a joint statement.
The COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative provides free rapid antigen tests for employees of small and medium-sized businesses. The tests are distributed through participating local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in Ontario. Businesses (including non-chamber members) with 150 employees or less are welcome to participate in this program. The goal of the program is to identify asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in the workplace that might otherwise be missed, helping to curb the spread in the workplace, at home and around the community in the Bay of Quinte.
The Initiative builds upon the success of the program that was first successfully piloted in the Waterloo region by the Greater Kitchener Waterloo and Cambridge Chambers of Commerce in partnership with Communitech, the Government of Ontario and Government of Canada. Through this pilot, the chambers have delivered 300,000 kits to almost 3,000 businesses in the region. Locally, over 50 businesses are signed up within our region and nearly 5,000 test kits have been handed out.
“With vaccinations on the rise and case counts lowering, rapid testing is another critical part of curbing the spread of COVID-19, contributing to the safe reopening of our economy. As the indispensable partner of business, we are incredibly proud of the Ontario Chamber Network that has quickly mobilized to put free rapid screening kits into the hands of small businesses across Ontario,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
Any businesses in the Bay of Quinte Region that would like to participate in the Rapid Test Screening Program to keep their workplaces safe can go to their closest chamber’s website to enroll at the following websites:
www.bellevillechamber.ca/rapid-tests with pick-up at the Log Cabin (5 Moira St. E, Belleville)
www.quintewestchamber.ca/rapidtests with pick-up at the Quinte West Chamber office (97 Front St., Trenton)
www.pecchamber.com with pick-up being hosted at the Wellington and District Community Centre (111 Belleville St, Wellington).
Businesses who order will be notified of pickup times.
Click here to see which chambers and boards of trade are participating in the program to date. More chambers of commerce and boards of trade will be joining in the coming weeks.
The Bay of Quinte Chambers of Commerce collaborates as the regional voice for the Belleville, Prince Edward County and Quinte West Chambers of Commerce. Representing over 1200 businesses of all sizes and all sectors located in the Bay of Quinte riding, this regional voice advocates for fair government policies that allow businesses to thrive and prosper. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is Ontario’s Business Advocate.
For more information, please contact:
Jill Raycroft, CEO
Belleville Chamber of Commerce
T: (613) 962-4597
Suzanne Andrews, CEO
Quinte West Chamber of Commerce
T: (613) 392-7635
Lesley Lavender, Executive Director
Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce