Most biz owners say Ontario’s not reopening fast enough: CFIB

Small business advocate wants hair salons, indoor dining, gyms to open quicker

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Ontario’s early activation of their reopening plans isn’t sitting well with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, whose latest survey shows two-thirds of Ontario business owners think it’s happening too slow.

The CFIB also says Ontario’s slow pace of reopening is driving the province further behind the rest of Canada, with only 44% of Ontario businesses fully open compared to 58% nationally.

And while two-thirds of Ontario business owners say reopening is not happening fast enough, only one-third of businesses in B.C. and 23% in Quebec say the same thing.

“Ontario businesses are incredibly frustrated as they have had little or no opportunity to make sales, while the rest of the country is reopening much faster,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly in a statement.

“At this rate, many provinces will be back to normal business operations before Ontarians can even get a haircut. We need to pick up the pace now, or many businesses won’t even make it to reopening.”

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Ontario moves to the first step of its reopening plans on Friday.

Among what the CFIB is urging is adding personal care services like hair salons and barbers to Friday’s reopening list; as well as adding some capacity for gyms, fitness, and dance studios, limited capacity for indoor dining, in-person sales for mall retailers without stree-side access and shortening the three-week interval between further rounds of reopening.

“The level of anger and despair we’re hearing from business owners is alarming,” said Kelly in a statement.

“They are watching their life’s work crumble due to the province’s inaction. The Ontario government needs to let more businesses reopen more quickly, so they can catch up to their counterparts in the rest of the country.”


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