Government must explain capacity decision to small business owners


The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is calling for answers from the Ontario government after several small business sectors were left out of Friday’s capacity increase announcement.

Backlash among restaurants, gyms, dance studios, bowling alleys and other recreational fitness businesses has been swift as they continue to face capacity restrictions ranging from mandatory distancing to a 50% capacity limit, while major sports venues can pack fans in at 100%. Small business owners are left wondering how the Leafs and Sens can seat full capacity while a bowling alley can’t open more than half its lanes.

Ontario government and public health officials must come forward and explain in detail why they’ve once again chosen to provide flexibility to some big businesses while keeping small businesses restricted.

Facilities like gyms, yoga and dance studios, swimming and martial arts venues, and bowling alleys have been limited to a 50 per cent capacity since July 16, when they reopened after one of the longest lockdown periods in the world. Only 37 per cent of Ontario’s small businesses are at normal revenues and their average COVID-19-related debt is a whopping $190,000. All provincial support programs for these businesses have ended, and the most significant one – the Ontario Small Business Support Grant – stopped on April 7, a day before the third lockdown began.

CFIB urges the Ontario government to immediately level the playing field and increase small business capacity to 100 per cent.

-Ryan Mallough, Senior Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario
-Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario


  1. If anyone, for even a moment, ever believed that all the restrictions etc were for your protection or “the greater good” then you’re sorely misled.
    If all of these restrictions for what we’re shown has been the deadliest virus in human history then the first thing that would have been done in advance of the virus hitting our lands would have been to close the border, restrict immigration and landings into Canada.
    The fact that nothing was done to protect the borders until a year into the pandemic says quite a bit.
    The PM wouldn’t have been traveling (multiple times) throughout the pandemic.
    Neither would have cabinet members.
    Irregular crossings would have not been accepted.
    There would have been no exemptions for international travel with the exception of urgent supply shipments.
    The emphasis would have been on protecting the most vulnerable (eg. LTC homes where the vast majority of deaths occurred).
    As time moves forward more and more questions and being asked and more and more illogical points are being noticed.

  2. Many of the restrictions and precautions seemed nearly arbitrary and punitive on small businesses. But then again when the Prime Minister openly labeled all small Canadian businesses as simply tax cheats there could have been another agenda at play – pressuring provinces to enact certain restrictions perhaps?
    Nothing is certain during this pandemic except the duplicity from the PMO.

      • And lockdowns are based on guidance and pressures from the federal government and as a result of the federal government’s failures to secure Canadians from the virus landing on Canadian soil.
        Better stay sitting at the kids table Luc.

        • covid lockdowns are imposed by the provinces as healthcare is provincial jurisdiction. this is done based on the guidance of the chief medical officer and local health units. if you’re going to be mad, at least be mad at the right people.

          • It’s possible to be angry at two separate forms of incompetent leadership.

            The federal Liberals are spending us into slavery for the next two decades and trying to set up China-level nanny state with total control because of Twitter went crazy over this SARS mutation instead of the last time. The only difference is this time social media went wild with literally propaganda pictures of bodies and people being welded into their houses in China. We need to understand that this was false, we were misled, this disease was never that dangerous, and that you have a 99.7% chance of survival as a healthy young adult. Shutting down our economy and destroying the lives of our children is not worth grandma having a few more weeks of respite.

            The provincial Conservatives are spineless cowards. The flip-flop fatman has held more positions on COVID lockdown than Holy Father Fauci himself. Trust me folks. Buck a beer. We’re in this together. Open for business. Except for the last 18 months.

            Justin needs to be surfing in Tofino permanently and Doug needs to make like his brother ASAP.

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