The provincial government extended the Ontario lockdown until February 9 and that means the doors of many small businesses in Prescott-Russell will remain closed unless they provide groceries or other items deemed essential under provincial pandemic protocosl. The United Counties of Prescott-Russell and the United Counties of Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry have sent resolutions to the province asking that all small businesses be allowed to open to the public on condition they follow public health safety guidelines.
The provincial government extended the Ontario lockdown until February 9 and that means the doors of many small businesses in Prescott-Russell will remain closed unless they provide groceries or other items deemed essential under provincial pandemic protocosl. The United Counties of Prescott-Russell and the United Counties of Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry have sent resolutions to the province asking that all small businesses be allowed to open to the public on condition they follow public health safety guidelines.

Five Counties say “Let small businesses open”

Gregg Chamberlain
EAP
The mayors for the Five Counties are asking the provincial government to let small businesses open up again.

Ontario’s second lockdown, which began Boxing Day, December 26, will continue until February 9 after the provincial government approved another extension of its state of emergency declaration to deal with the pandemic. That includes full enforcement of stay-at-home orders and non-essential travel restrictions.

UNE VERSION EN FRANÇAIS DE CET ARTICLE EST DISPONIBLE
Les comtés de l'Est ontarien veulent que les petits entreprises puissent ouvrir

Meanwhile, the mayors for all of the municipalities of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) and the United Counties of Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry (UCSDG) are asking the provincial government to modify its pandemic restrictions on commercial operations.

UCPR council voted during its January 27 session to support a resolution from UCSDG council to the provincial government to allow all small businesses to reopen “with the required health guidelines and protocols in place”.

Right now only grocery stores and drugstores, and “big box” stores that include groceries or a pharmacy or both as part of their operation are allowed to stay open to the public. But the “big box” stores have new limits set on the number of people allowed on their premises at any one time.

All other non-essential stores are limited to curbside pickup and home delivery service for their customers who must place their orders by phone, email, or online.

Some municipalities have complained to the provincial government about “big box” stores that allow customers inside to buy “non-essential” items like furniture or electronics. The complaint is that this is unfair competition against smaller independent stores that deal in these items but are not allowed to open to the public.