York Region business owners anxious on the eve of modified Stage 2
NEWMARKET, ONT. -- At 12:01 a.m. Monday, many York Region businesses will take a hit for the second time since the start of the pandemic.
The region is moving to a modified version of Stage 2 of the province's COVID-19 recovery plan.
The co-owners of MODO Yoga, with locations in Newmarket and Aurora, are devastated. After reopening just two months ago, Linda Barrett and her partner are forced to close again.
"We put a lot into these two businesses," said Barrett. "A lot of personal savings."
The studio normally sees a thousand students per week between both locations. Now, Barrett and her partner are doing everything they can to stay afloat, including cutting classes and spending thousands of dollars on high tech sanitization.
"We're not making any profit," said Barrett. "Every day that we've been open since we were allowed to open, we've been working in the red."
Barrett said it is not about the money right now, but their community and students' mental health during this stressful time.
Barrett wished the government had looked at businesses on a case-by-case basis, rather than issuing blanket restrictions.
While restaurant patios can stay open in modified Stage 2, the owner of Newmarket's Sociable Pub expects to struggle.
"This is financially a huge burden," said Deepak Sood. "Even with rent reduced and all that."
Seventy percent of Sood's business came from events in the upper level of his heritage home restaurant, located just off of Yonge Street. Now, the upstairs is unusable. Sood said he had slashed food prices while trying to maintain good quality.
"We are just trying to keep our head up," said Sood.
Sood understands the restrictions are to keep people safe. But they hurt him financially. He has drawn on loans and personal savings to keep his restaurant moving through shutdowns.
"When you're running on passion and choice, you don't want to back out. We're bringing our everything," said Sood.
He has installed lights and heaters on his patio to prepare for the colder months, but he worries about snow. Sood plans to devote more attention to online and over-the-phone orders.