York Region business owners grateful but frustrated by orange zone COVID restrictions
NEWMARKET, ONT. -- York Region restaurants, bars, and gyms welcomed people back inside this weekend under new orange zone COVID-19 restrictions.
Some of those restrictions include no serving alcohol after 9 p.m. Restaurants and bars have to close by 10 p.m. and can only seat a maximum of four people together.
Fitness facilities can welcome no more than 50 people at a time and screen everyone coming in.
The shift has some business owners feeling both grateful and frustrated.
Kelly Punzo owns Function Studios Inc., a ladies-only boutique gym in Newmarket. She's finding the new rules around capacity to be challenging.
Her main studio space can take 40 people. Right now, she's limited to just eight. Treadmills are out of commission, and an entire floor is limited to only two people at a time.
Punzo says she's so thankful for the opportunity to open, but the restrictions are hurting her. So she's had to make adjustments to her business model, including increasing prices.
"If I was to open under my regular membership rates, I would have lost bare minimum of $38,000 a month," Punzo said.
Punzo is frustrated that she needs to raise rates for her gym to survive, and she worries about her clientele that will no longer be able to afford memberships.
Newmarket pub and restaurant managers are feeling something similar.
Grey Goat Pub and Grill manager Vino Deen says as it gets colder, it's nice to be able to allow customers back inside.
On the other hand, the new restrictions on alcohol consumption and hours of operation aren't going to make things easy, especially since the Grey Goat caters to a late-night crowd.
"We do a lot of business after 11 p.m. "Deen said. "A lot of our revenue comes from it," said Deen.