It’s time to reopen: Ontario remains the only province with no plan to end lockdowns


Toronto, February 3, 2021 – Ontario is now the only province under a blanket lockdown, with no end in sight, following Quebec’s announcement of a gradual reopening strategy yesterday, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). CFIB is urging all Members of Provincial Parliament to push for a clear and concrete path towards reopening.

“Every single other province has kept its small business community open throughout the second wave or announced plans to lift restrictions,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “Only Ontario is keeping business owners in the dark with strict province-wide lockdown measures and no indication of when businesses might be allowed to reopen.” 

Currently, only 37 per cent of Ontario businesses are fully open, 32 per cent are fully staffed and a mere 18 per cent are making normal levels of sales. Recent CFIB research found that 20 per cent of Ontario businesses are considering permanently closing before the end of the pandemic, a potential loss of 75,000 businesses and 873,000 jobs.

CFIB is asking the Ontario government to allow all Ontario businesses to reopen at 20 per cent capacity on February 10th when the current lockdown measures expire. In addition, many businesses are not currently eligible for the Small Business Support Grant, despite seeing major drops in sales. CFIB urges the government to expand the program immediately to include any businesses that:

  • Witnessed a drop in sales due to the stay at home order
  • Have been locked down since the beginning of the pandemic (e.g. amusement parks)
  • Were locked down in the Spring of 2020

“Small businesses can’t hang on for much longer. Between mounting debt and months of dramatically reduced sales, many will not see the point of holding on without at least some clarity on when they will be allowed to reopen,” added Ryan Mallough, CFIB’s director of provincial affairs for Ontario. “Main Street needs real and immediate leadership from our MPPs on this. The only way to save small business is to allow customers back into stores, salons, gyms and restaurants.”

Read CFIB’s letter urging MPPs to reopen the economy for more information.

For media enquiries 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