SMEs are “extremely dissatisfied” due to uncertainty about Ontario’s reopening plans: Advocacy Group

Ontario’s small business owners are increasingly frustrated after a year of forced lockdown, as the state’s reopening schedule is uncertain, the Canadian Independent Business Federation (CFIB) said. Stated.

Prime Minister Doug Ford’s government said the three-stage reopening plan, scheduled to begin in the week of June 14, depends on “current trends in key health indicators,” and the reopening will be “closer confirmed.” ” Step 1 is expected to begin. “

Julie Kwisinsky, director of regional affairs at CFIB in Ontario, told the Epoch Times that there is no guarantee that even the first steps will be carried out as expected.

“Business owners are definitely alive as part of making the right plans,” she said. “[CFIB] And other organizations, as well as the members of the small businesses that make up our membership, are very frustrated. “

Ford said on June 2 that Ontario could launch a reopening plan earlier than June 14, but it depends on what the Chief Health Officer of the Ministry of Health recommends. Said he felt hope. [infection] The numbers are declining and are declining rapidly. “

“We’re running out of runways here for an early reopening. We have just a few days left until June 14,” said Kwiecinski. “If you open somewhere in the week of June 14, where are the guidelines for reopening?”

The resumption plan consists of gradual removal of public health measures, but the transition to the next step is highly dependent on adult vaccination rates across the state.

In step 1, 60% of adults should be vaccinated at least once. In step 2, 70% should be vaccinated with one vaccination and 20% should be vaccinated with two vaccinations. In step 3, 70-80% should be vaccinated with a single vaccination and 25% should be vaccinated with a double vaccination.

Ford announced on May 28 that it had already given its first dose to 65% of adults in Ontario. Kwissinsky said the other health indicators that the government has set to move to each stage, noting that the state has already exceeded the vaccination threshold required to enter Step 1. Said it was unknown.

CFIB, which has approximately 38,000 members in Ontario, Published an open letter On June 1, Ford called for “immediate resumption of the economy to prevent thousands of companies from being forced to shut down forever.”

“I wrote this letter because members across the state, especially those in the most devastated sector, are eager to reopen at least some of their stores,” Kwissinsky said. He said.

Businesses that have been hit hardest include companies in the gym, beauty and personal services, tourism and hospitality industries. The wedding industry also falls into that category, and Kwisinsky said that when Canadian couples were forced to delay their wedding, the impact on the industry had a “domino effect” and many other related sectors. Pointed out that it could hurt.

Based on “very conservative” estimates, she said, the pandemic closure left about 75,000 SMEs unemployed, which is equivalent to about 873,000 private sector jobs.

British Columbia has never closed an unneeded retail store, and Manitoba retailers are allowed to operate at 10% capacity under the latest limits, Kwishin said. Mr. Ski pointed out.

In an open letter, CFIB will immediately reopen all retail stores with a capacity of at least 20%, reopen restaurant patios with limited indoor services, hair salons, hairdressers, gyms and other entertainment venues. Requested the operation of a reservation system by. Facility.

As the Ontario SME Support Grant ends on April 7, and the federal government plans to phase out two major SME programs in July, the CFIB is “ “Very necessary” seeking government support for the third round, Kwissinsky.

“How would you expect to survive if you’ve been asked to shut down for a long time, have exhausted all your personal savings, don’t have new grants from Ontario, and your federal grants are depleted?”

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