Advocacy Win – Letter of Support for Gallery of the Midnight Sun
Today ITI announced immediate changes to the PREP program to include galleries and restaurants: link
The NWT Chamber issued a letter in support of Gallery of the Midnight Sun's letter to Premier Caroline Cochrane as well as Minister Caroline Wawzonek in regards to financial assistance for galleries and gift shops that have seen a significant decrease in sales due to the lack of tourists.
We are writing in support of the email/letter that was sent to you from the Gallery of the Midnight Sun on June 8, 2021. The NWT Chamber represents all businesses in the NWT regardless of size or sector, including many from the different arms of the tourism sector.
A successful tourism sector is an accumulation of tour operators; accommodations; food & beverage and most importantly retail. When visiting a new place, the number one item for tourists is a souvenir from the place you have visited. And not a souvenir that was made in China.
In 2019 the retail sector was worth 4.4% of the NWT GDP, though it is showing signs of still remaining strong as per May 2021, which is a skewed statistic at the moment. With the pandemic, many sports adventure stores, nurseries, and hardware stores are seeing huge booms due to the amount of additional excess spending money, NWT residents have from not traveling. This increase provides the appearance that all retail sectors are booming when in fact our gift stores are struggling across the territory. As much as local residents try to support them, we are a very small buying population with many items having a smaller price tag than big-ticket items such as skidoos, lumber, etc. Not only has our gift stores lost a significant portion of their clientele but they have been unable to leave the territory to purchase or source inventory. Though the borders are not closed, as privately owned and operated business owners, they can not afford to pay to keep their businesses closed for 14 days while in isolation.
Gallery of the Midnight Sun Letter
NWT Chamber's Letter of Support