Ontario’s accelerated reopening is ‘a positive step towards recovery’, trade organization says

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The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says Ontario’s accelerated reopening plan is “a positive step towards recovery” as small businesses continue to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement on Monday, the CFIB said the removal of restrictions is a “big step forward,” but noted that many businesses continue to face high debt loads and lower-than-expected sales levels. they were before the pandemic.

The provincial government announced Monday morning that it is accelerating its reopening plans as COVID-19 trends improve, with more capacity restrictions now expected to be eased on Thursday instead of February 21.

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And on March 1, the province plans to lift all remaining capacity limits and remove proof of vaccination requirements for all settings.

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While CFIB welcomed the announcement, it also sought assurances that restrictions will not need to be imposed in the future.

“We urge the Government of Ontario to support today’s announcement with a plan to stay open to provide clarity and certainty as we continue to manage the pandemic,” the statement said.

“This would involve ensuring there is adequate healthcare capacity to avoid any further restrictions or business closures in the future.”


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The organization also called on the province to boost consumer confidence in the coming weeks, by “encouraging the safe return to activities like dining out, going to the gym or the movies, attending events and traveling. “.

CFIB said the average small business in Ontario has incurred nearly $170,000 in debt over the past two years and many continue to face labor shortages, supply chain disruptions and price increases.

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The organization noted that only 33% of small businesses in Ontario have returned to normal sales levels.

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