Will local businesses survive the coming months?
BARRIE, ONT. -- Businesses are feeling the pinch of a pandemic with no end in sight.
CTV’s Madison Erhardt talked with Barrie Chamber of Commerce President Todd Tuckey about how business owners are coping.
Madison: As numbers climb in the province and locally, what are business owners seeing?
Tuckey: Right now, locally, they aren’t seeing much of a difference. Some of them haven’t ramped up to pre-pandemic, but all in all, they are doing okay generally.
Madison: With the cooler weather upon us, what are business owners who rely on patio and outdoor spaces seeing and doing?
Tuckey: Recently, Doug Downey, our attorney general, announced that he is going to allow patios to stay open right until January 1st at 3 a.m., but the question is for patios; how do they handle it?
Can they deal with the snow load? What do they do for heaters?
At least he has made it available to them so that they can try and generate some revenue, because probably for quite a while in the future it is going to be limited indoor capacity.
Madison: How many business owners are telling you they won’t make it through the next couple of months?
Tuckey: The businesses are more concerned about the C.E.R.B., which goes into a blended unit on the 27th of this month, so it is going to drop off and go more to an E.I. model, and businesses are really looking forward to that because businesses are struggling right now finding employees.
The jobs are certainly there, but the people are not applying, and I think it’s C.E.R.B. that is really killing it.
Madison: Are business owners defaulting on rents? Is there anything that can help them survive?
Tuckey: Rent is a tough one because there is a rent subsidy that is being offered by the government, but the landlord has to take part in that for them to qualify, and the landlord is still running a business themselves.
If they start applying and accepting the subsidy, that means the landlords are getting less money and can they even afford to keep the properties managed at the level that you want.