CFIB: Ontario doubles down on unfair and ineffective business restrictions

New retail curfew of 8 pm for smaller retailers doesn’t apply to Walmart; Small retailers cannot deliver a purchase after 8 pm

Toronto, January 12, 2021 - Incredibly, the Ontario government made the deep unfairness in lockdown rules even worse by implementing a new curbside pick-up and delivery curfew of 8 pm for small businesses, while exempting big box stores like Walmart. 

Walmart, Costco and Amazon can continue to sell non-essential goods in-store or deliver them to Ontarians with no additional changes, but small retailers will not be allowed to hand a product to a customer outdoors or even deliver one after 8 pm. How this will help stop the spread of COVID-19 is anyone’s guess.

No other province has locked down small retailers while handing huge competitive advantages to big-box stores.

CFIB is also very worried that ineffective lockdown rules will now be applied to additional business sectors, like construction. We need to find a pathway to allow small businesses to safely reopen.

- Dan Kelly, President

CFIB’s work has also involved asking government officials to make sure no business falls through the cracks of Ontario’s $10,000-$20,000 grant program that is expected to be available very soon.

The program must also include businesses like dry cleaners that are essential but still urgently need the help, seasonal and other businesses that will be shut out unless the revenue loss requirement is changed, and forgotten businesses like amusement parks that have been forced to remain closed throughout the entire pandemic.

-Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario

For media inquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region, including 42,000 in Ontario. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at