Coronavirus: London, Ont., Businesses Respond to COVID-19 Lockdown – London


Local businesses fear the future with the news of a province-wide coronavirus lockdown starting on Boxing Day.
On Monday, Premier Doug Ford announced that as of December 26, all regions will enter a lockdown, which would be 14 days for those in the north and 28 days for those in southern Ontario.

It is also possible that the lockout will be extended depending on the number of cases.

Under this decision, only essential companies are allowed to be opened and at 50% of their capacity. Restaurants can only be open for curbside delivery or pickup, and other businesses like clothing stores or salons are also only allowed on the curb.

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A full list of what’s closed can be found here.

Ivanopoblano and organic Mexican restaurant on Wharncliffe Rd S in London on. July 16, 2020.

Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

“We’re very scared that we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Ivan Santana-Barnes.

“We have a lot of spending per month and I don’t know if we will get there with another foreclosure, but I hope we will”

Ivan and her husband, Christopher, opened their restaurant Ivanopoblano last November.

“I want to stay positive because it was a dream to open this restaurant because I’ve been in a food truck for 3.5 years,” he said.

Heading towards a four-week lockdown, Ivan said he plans to take a week and a half off until December 28 for Christmas and then return to take out only.

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He said that in the summer it was good because they had a lot of work on their patio, but now that it was colder he said a lot of people were afraid to dine inside.

“We were (masked), we have partitions, we have a filter that cleans the room and it’s a lot of expense to stay open.”

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Despite the uncertainty, he hopes people will unite in this next lockdown to support local businesses.

“We should stay together and we should be positive, we should just try to help stay open.”

During Monday’s COVID-19 press conference, Mayor Ed Holder spoke about the impact of this lockdown on local businesses.

“I know so many individuals and so many companies who have made incredible sacrifices and yet here we are,” Holder said.

“It’s an absolutely brutal blow and there’s no two ways to do it. As I said before, individuals and businesses who are not responsible for the virus and its massive spread are bearing the brunt of it. ”

He also criticized big box stores being allowed to stay open because they had essentials like groceries, saying it was unfair because they also carry a lot of non-essentials.

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Other businesses feeling the impact of the lockdown are barber shops and spas.

Alaina Calzerley, owner of Scizzorhands Salon and Spa on Wharncliffe Road, said it was disappointing to have to close after all the changes they made to keep people safe.

“It affects us drastically, we’ve had to pivot in all aspects of the business including social distancing and creating policy tones to make customers feel safe,” she said.

“It’s very frustrating because we’ve done everything they asked to make everyone feel safe and now we’re being told to shut down again.

Calzerley said she tries to keep hope they manage to survive, but that it will be difficult for her 13 employees who are all commission based.

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During the lockdown, she said they would continue to offer curbside pickup of all salon products that people could normally buy indoors.

“We have an incredible community that has been extremely supportive.”

During its announcement, Ford said there would be grants worth a minimum of $ 10,000 and more than $ 20,000 for small businesses affected by the closures.

More information on this program can be found on the government website.

Ivan said he was skeptical of the funding, saying they weren’t able to qualify for any of the other supports offered at the start of the pandemic, but he hopes this time around they will.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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