Supermarkets such as Walmart, Costco and other corporate big box stores should only be allowed to sell “essential” items such a food and medicine unless their smaller non-corporate counterparts can also open during lockdowns.
As the Provincial government ponders what new rules will apply to the now-announced Province-wide lockdown that will begin at midnight on Boxing Day, I am proposing that they consider the fate of Ontario’s small businesses by the inequity caused by shuttering the small businesses while allowing the big box retailers to remain open and viable.
I offer two suggestions: either require the big box stores to restrict shopping to the truly essential items (food and medicine) and barrier off the other goods in their cavernous stores – or let the smaller retailers safely remain open (if they choose to) using all the best practices they have already put in place such as capacity limiting, sanitizing, distancing and protective barriers.
Levelling the playing field will help with public adoption of continued financial hardships as they see equity being applied across the retail sector.
I call upon the Province to consider these options when crafting their plans to help flatten this curve.
If these are rules that our little Municipality can enact and enforce, I will be asking our senior team to advise how we can do so and to convene a special emergency meeting to do so. I suspect that other than additional capacity limits (as seen recently in Orillia), that the regulations must come from the Province.
If you support this idea, please reach out to your MPP and please, continue to support the small businesses that are struggling to survive.