At City Council’s first meeting of 2021, this past Wednesday, I put forward a motion seconded by Mayor Jim Watson asking Council to request the Mayor to write to the Premier of Ontario and the Ontario Minister of Health to request that the Government of Ontario immediately apply the same rules to small businesses that big-box stores must adhere to, in consultation with Public Health Authorities. The motion also asks that if the province will not change the rules to allow small businesses to operate under the same regulations as big box stories, the Ontario government should restrict big-box and discount-stores to in-person sales of grocery and essential items only.
The purpose of this motion is to help support our local small businesses who are continuing to struggle during the pandemic and offer them a more level playing field when it comes to the larger discount-stores who are in essence able to bypass a loophole to sell other items such as sporting goods, party supplies and entertainment systems. Whereas, someone who owns a small stationary party supply shop only has the option to offer curbside pickup.
COVID has undoubtedly affected on the economy. We should have the choice with our dollars to help locally and give small businesses a fighting chance to rebound when we emerge from our homes.5-Motion_Kavanagh_Waiver_Big-Box-Stores_Final-with-friendly-amendment