Give small businesses the same support as large corporations during Covid

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Small business is considered by most to be the backbone of our Canadian economy - so why is it that our governments are unfairly making small business bear the brunt of the fallout of the Covid 19 crisis?

On Monday, November 23rd, the government of Ontario moved several regions into the Grey Zone which introduces wide scale measures and restrictions, including closures, to halt or interrupt transmission.

The Grey Zone is considered a State of Emergency.

Like all good-minded people concerned about the spread of Covid, small business owners want to support the health measures that Public Health enacts to help keep us all safe. Why, then, are large retailers including big box stores like Walmart and  Costco are  permitted to remain fully opening during this Grey Zone - State of Emergency? This gives these large retailers a government-imposed unfair business advantage.

Why is Walmart or Costco more able to control the spread of Covid than a hard working independent retailer who can control their own environment to ensure both social distancing and cleaning procedures are adhered to? 

The three weeks leading to the all-important Christmas holiday are for most independent retailers the time of the business cycle when up to 40% of their annual business is transacted. It’s fair to say that without this business, many will be forced to close permanently. We’re asking government to level the playing field. If we have to close, then also close the department stores and big box retailers. Or at minimum, restrict the categories that these stores can sell to truly "essential" items such as food and pharmacy products. If it is unsafe for people to visit an independent retailer to touch and feel and purchase a pair of jeans then it should be deemed unsafe for the public to patronize a department store and purchase a pair of jeans in person. That is what a true level playing field means.

We invite you to sign our petition asking the government to immediately rethink their strategy, recalibrate the retail landscape, and remove the unfair business advantage it has given to large retailers.