'I decided to open, unfortunately, because I have to,' Business owners frustrated over lockdown
BARRIE, ONT. -- Christian Linkert doesn't consider himself a rule-breaker, but he defied the closure orders at his two Barrie tanning salons on Monday.
"We had the bylaw officers stop by this morning, and basically, he just gave us a warning," says the owner of The Sun Emporium.
"It's either I open today and risk possible fines, or I close, and I go bankrupt."
Linkert says he'll be back open with both shops first thing Tuesday morning.
With the latest lockdown and less than three days to prepare, owners of Linx Kitchen + Social in Barrie now have to figure out what they're going to do with thousands of dollars of food it just ordered after just opening its doors.
"We've had to notify all of our staff that we will be laying all of them off again, and we'll have to restructure our business to be able to accommodate take-out again."
Monday signalled day one of the region's return to the grey zone of Ontario's COVID-19 framework, just days after the province made the announcement.
Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman has sent a letter to the province requesting some changes to some of the policies.
"The goal here, of course, is to see the restrictions changed to support some of the small businesses that can safely open and have been required to close," says Mayor Lehman.
Over in Collingwood, the town's mayor Brian Saunderson expresses his community's frustration.
"I'm having a tough time understating the rationale where us being in the grey zone while our neighbours to the west in the Town of Blue Mountains are in the green zone," says Mayor Saunderson.
Collingwood is part of Simcoe County, while the Town of Blue Mountains sits in Grey Bruce, but less than 20km separated the two communities.
"I'm requesting that the province reexamine or revisit the decision looking at whether or not Simcoe Muskoka could be divided into regions and those that are a quite could be treated in the grey zone, and those that are not could be in a lesser designation," says Mayor Saunderson.
Both Barrie and the Collingwood Mayor say they will continue to push forward for some changes to the new lockdown rules.