Stage 3 Commences Friday July 17th

Nearly all businesses and public spaces are allowed to re-open in Stage 3.   This is great news for many of our health and beauty service providers who were only able to offer partial services in Stage 2.  Stage 3 also means that restaurants will now be allowed to serve patrons inside. You can read the full details here. Please also note the increase in gathering limits:
  • Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
  • Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
  • Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.
We were hoping for more specific guidelines in this announcement, especially regarding indoor dining at restaurants.  For the time being we are recommending that each restaurant determine how many tables are allowed based on the required 2 metre distance between patrons and the indoor gathering limit of 50 people.  For many of you, this will mean operating at less than 50% capacity.   As soon as more information becomes available, we will pass it along to you. Please note that if your business is not permitted to open in stage 3, or if you are experiencing significant challenges re-opening your business with the restrictions in Stage 3, you may submit a re-opening proposal to the Ontario government here. We also encourage you to call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line if you have any questions about how to safely re-open: 1-888-444-3659.  

Face Coverings

Face coverings are still required in Phase 3, please see the full re-instated order from Public Health here .  We are hearing from many of you that it is not fun having to “police” this issue and that while most customers are compliant, the 1% that aren’t can be extremely confrontational and unpleasant.  We recommend using humour if at all possible to diffuse the situation or pointing to the signs that you have posted and being honest “hey, I didn’t make the rules and I don’t want to be fined”.   With many more areas now requiring face masks, we hope that the majority of customers will come prepared to follow the rules.    

Business Hours Survey Results

We will have the full results for you next week, in the meantime we just wanted to let you know that the majority of those who responded reported that their busiest times are Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday between 11am & 3pm.   Many of you also reported that you have modified your hours due to staffing challenges, health & safety concerns, and lower foot traffic.  As the weeks go on, we hope to see some of these challenges alleviated and we acknowledge that there is a bit of a chicken and egg scenario when it comes to traffic later in the afternoon/evening.  Are customers not shopping at that time because they choose not to, or because no one is open?   We will have the full results and some recommendations for you next week!  

Are you open on Sunday?

Please let us know if you are open on Sundays!  If enough businesses respond, we will put together a social media post advertising those of you who are open for business on Sundays. Many people are taking day trips close to home (within a few hours drive) and we expect that we could attract more visitors on Sundays if we have enough businesses open.  Once we have the list compiled, we will share it with you!  

Good News Story

Each week I hope to send you a positive update from one of our members.  If you have something uplifting to share, please get in touch! I could not resist sharing this heart-warming video from Maggiolly Art Supplies.  These amazing kids are participating in an art camp, shown here creating pop art self-portraits!   Our hats off to Maggiolly’s for creating a safe space for kids to socialize and get creative, while practicing physical distancing.   Thanks everyone, have a wonderful weekend!