Governmental/Monetary support for small businesses due to Covid-19! Save our communities.

Governmental/Monetary support for small businesses due to Covid-19! Save our communities.

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Jess Clément started this petition to Premier of Ontario and

This pandemic has affected many small businesses for more than just the last couple months. It’s been a rough year to say the least. However, I’ve really been able to see things more clearly in this department since I took over a local business in Northern Ontario in the fall of 2020.

December 26th 2020, we were told that our businesses had to close if they were not “essential”. And we did. We tried to remain positive, we tried to support one another, but there’s only so much one can do. Moral support and encouragement is wonderful but it doesn’t guarantee us that our next months rent will be paid to keep our brick & mortar for when we all go back to “normal” - whenever that may be. There seems to be minimal hope & information shared with small businesses. 

Our northern community is amazing. There is so much love and support for local businesses, makers, and artisans in the New Liskeard area and surrounding (Kirkland Lake, Englehart, Earlton, New Liskeard, Haileybury, North Cobalt, Cobalt, Latchford, Temagami & even up to North Bay). We know this because we’ve gotten so much support from individuals in all of these locations. We also know it because we see the love and support being shared on social media constantly within our community. We are grateful to have such wonderful support, to feel like we’re not the only ones going through this, and thankful for our lovely customers and supporters. However, there are issues about the Covid rules & regulations that need to be talked about and brought up to the political world. How can children return to school yet our businesses have to remain closed. 

We were hoping that we were going to be able to open our store this weekend, but we learned today on January 7th 2021, that the province wide shutdown is being extended another two weeks - bringing us to January 23rd 2021. Another two weeks with minimal income, and regular bills to pay. We are also no guaranteed that the shut down will end then - so the worry continues.  

Why are we able to walk freely into a store such as Walmart and buy anything - not only essentials. Why aren’t non-essentials blocked off? We learned today, January 7th 2021 that 296 people are allowed in Walmart at once. Yet we’re not allowed to open our Artisan Boutique at a controlled/restricted operating number. We would be happy if only two people could come in at once if it meant that it could give us some hope & peace of mind that we can bring some income home for our families.

Big box stores are doing wonderfully. They get to stay open, and now everyone is forced to shop there and cannot support small shops. So many families are struggling, are unsure of what will happen, cannot pay bills, and have even closed their doors for good... this leads me to believe this isn’t a matter of “we’re all in this together”. Everyone is fending for themselves at this point with little to no support or guidance from government. Have you tried to apply to fundings such as CRB? Looking at the criteria’s are overwhelming. It’s difficult to know if you apply and perhaps will have to pay the money back. Us small business owners need grants. We need money to help us now so that we can thrive later!

Please listen to us, the small businesses, the heart & soul of many downtowns, the historical buildings & their stories.. if you want people to support their local economy but don’t do anything to let those businesses open, who will they be able to support us? 

It was shared that children are returning to school this week, yet stores have to remain closed. As an adult I can ensure that the limit of customers in store is maintained and that proper sanitization is completed. Let us open our stores. We ask that grants become offered to us and/or we can open our stores at a restricted amount of customers to ensure safety for everyone. Just let us open our doors please.

Sincerely, Jessica & Dominique

Local business owners 

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At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!