Councillors with the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry on Monday urged the provincial government to reopen small businesses in the province.
Councillors adopted a resolution requesting “the Province of Ontario allow for small businesses to immediately reopen with the required health guidelines and protocols in place.”
At its monthly meeting on January 18, council received an update on the current COVID-19 situation in our region from Eastern Ontario Health Unit Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis. During his update, councillors expressed frustration with the current provincial shutdown mandate that council feels is too restrictive on small business.
“It is frustrating that some small businesses are forced to close their doors, while others can remain open,” said Warden Frank Prevost. “We are calling on the provincial government to realize that, when businesses and customers follow health protocols, we can blunt the spread of COVID-19.”
Council further expressed the concern that when small businesses close, it is difficult if not impossible for them to reopen.
Council heard data that suggests the vast majority of COVID-19’s spread in our region comes via so-called ‘close contacts’, instead of visits to small business. Dr. Roumeliotis echoed the sentiments of council during Monday’s meeting, and requested a copy of council’s motion be sent to the Health Unit for endorsement.
Council’s resolution will be shared with the Premier of Ontario, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, SD-SG MPP Jim McDonell, and circulated to all municipalities in Ontario.