Ontario Independent

In the face of new restrictions, the Ontario Chamber calls for business subsidies

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce calls for business subsidies.

Key takeaways:

  • Due to new restrictions, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is urging governments to provide financial assistance to small businesses.
  • Robinson said the Saturday before Christmas is usually one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but it was unusually quiet this year.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is urging governments to provide financial assistance to small businesses due to new restrictions to combat the spread of rising COVID-19 cases.

The province announced the new measures on Friday in response to modeling that suggested the Omicron variant could put additional strain on Ontario’s hospital capacity. The restrictions took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday. 

They included a 50% reduction in indoor capacity at several businesses, as well as a limit of 10 people per table and a requirement to close by 11 p.m. for bars and restaurants.

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According to Rocco Rossi, president, and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, businesses will suffer if subsidies are not reintroduced alongside the public health measures.

“There will be a wave of bankruptcies,” Rossi predicted.

The provincial finance minister, Peter Bethlenfalvy, stated that the government announced a plan to announce something soon.

“We’ll look into providing assistance targeted, and we’ll look into the necessary supports in light of the situation, “At the press conference, Bethlenfalvy stated.

According to Rossi, the message is nice to hear, but subsidies are needed now.

“They had time to come up with new supports if they had time to come up with new restrictions,” Rossi said.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce calls for business subsidies.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce calls for business subsidies. Image from Flipboard

The new restrictions feel familiar to managers at Borealis Grille & Bar Kitchener.

Neil Robinson, the managing partner of Borealis Grille & Bar Kitchener, said, “It honestly felt like Saturday, March 14, 2020.”

Robinson said the Saturday before Christmas is usually one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but it was unusually quiet this year. He said that larger groups are canceling bookings due to the provincial announcement.

“It’ll be difficult for us to continue unless some of the subsidies we received previously start coming back,” Robinson said.

The new restrictions, according to Rossi, come at a time when businesses rely on high sales.

“For many businesses, restaurants, halls, and hotels, this is the most important season of the year,” Rossi said.

Consumers can help support local businesses during the holidays, according to Rossi, by purchasing locally whenever possible.

Source: CTV News

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