Many Ontarians believe Province’s latest restrictions for small businesses unfair: survey

 

Despite the fact many regions throughout Ontario are facing additional restrictions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many Ontarians still feel safer shopping at smaller stores.

According to a recent poll commissioned by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), 90 per cent of consumers feel small businesses should be permitted to remain open, albeit at reduced capacity.

“It makes no sense at all to close small businesses that are deemed non-essential to in-store shopping while pushing crowds to big box stores who are permitted to sell the same merchandise, like Ontario has done in Toronto and Peel,” Dan Kelly, president of CFIB, said in a news release.

“If reducing time spent indoors in crowds is the objective, consumers understand that shopping in neighbourhood small businesses is a better choice," he continued.

Additionally, 72 per cent of Canadians, and 76 per cent of Ontarians said they would feel safer shopping at a small business with reduced capacity than a busy big box store, such as Costco or Walmart.

Further, 87 per cent of Canadians and 88 per cent of Ontarians believe forcing small businesses to close while allowing big box stores to remain open is unfair--93 per cent of Canadians and Ontarians believe the small businesses should be allowed to remain open with a limited number of customers allowed in store at one time.

Moreover, 78 per cent of Canadians and 76 per cent of Ontarians believe, if small businesses are not permitted to sell non-essential items in stores, big-box retailers should also not be permitted to sell similar items.

“To date, no other province has implemented Ontario’s bizarre rule to shut tight small retailers who may have a few in-store customers per day while allowing lines to grow at big box stores selling similar goods. While Manitoba’s rules are equally restrictive on small firms, they are at least fair as big box stores are also prohibited from selling non-essential goods,” Kelly added.

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