Toronto, May 14, 2020 - We commend the Ontario government for expanding its list of businesses that will be allowed to return to operation following health and safety guidelines. Retailers have been particularly hard-hit during the pandemic. Allowing them to carefully open their doors to customers again will start them down the long path to recovery. Small firms believe they can play a role in continuing to flatten the curve by adopting safe practices and ensuring customer demand can be spread over thousands of locations across the province.
It’s critical for small businesses – especially the one-third that have seen revenues drop by 90-100 per cent due to COVID-19 – to return to making sales as soon as it is safe to do so.
While we appreciate the government’s cautious approach, Ontario is facing both a health and an economic crisis. Bills continue to pile up for all Ontario businesses, with rent a top concern. We urge the government to freeze commercial evictions and work with their federal partners to improve the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program so that tenants get some certainty as they begin to reopen their doors.
We look forward to working with the Ontario government on further stages towards safely reopening the Ontario economy.
-Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario
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Milena Stanoeva, 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 cfib.ca.