CORNWALL, Ontario – The Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce is circulating a petition regarding the rules around big box stores.
Under the 28-day Ontario wide shutdown that began on Dec. 26, 2020, essential businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies remain open, but at reduced capacity, to a maximum of 50 per cent of total capacity. Big box stores that sell groceries are limited to 25 per cent capacity for indoor shopping, but are allowed to have all of their retail sections open. Non-essential retailers, like clothing stores, are limited to curbside service only.
“Businesses that are allowed to be open for in-store purchases because they sell goods or services that are deemed essential should only be allowed to sell those goods or services to in-store customers. All non-essential goods must be sold through curbside and delivery,” reads a statement from the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce on their website.
The Chamber’s survey asks whether or not those filling out the form are in favour or not of restricting all non-essential goods being sold through curbside and delivery, regardless of whether the seller is a big box store, or a small retailer.
In a story published by Seaway News yesterday, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) had called the current state of affairs surrounding big box stores “unfair” and stated that he had asked the province to change its stance.
“I think it is unfair that this is going on. It is unfair to small retail businesses. That is the complaint we are getting, and I must say, I agree with that complaint. It’s a valid complaint,” Dr. Roumeliotis said.
The Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce’s petition will be sent to the Premier, Doug Ford and local MPP Jim McDonell.