Lehman stands up for small businesses as new lockdown takes hold

Issue is 'extremely urgent'

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman says there are aspects of the Grey level restrictions that are unjustified and damaging particularly to the small business community in Barrie.

He’s written to the Premier, Barrie’s two MPPs and the local Medical Officer of Health.

“I’m requesting that the Province immediately revise the business restrictions within the Grey category of the framework to permit small businesses to remain open that can operate with little or no public health risk.”

Lehman notes in his letter that small businesses, such as photographers, are sole proprietors who work with single customers at a time. Others, such as indoor recreation facilities, have enough space for every customer to maintain an extremely large area – far more than many open retail outlets.

“If all retail environments are able to remain open with reduced capacity, there seems little reason why other small businesses cannot remain open with the same protective measures in place.”

Lehman understands his request requires the Province to move quickly to adjust regulations, but he says “we are talking about people’s livelihoods here…and the Province has demonstrated previously their ability to move quickly in adjusting regulations.” Further, he says the Province has already adjusted the business restrictions to allow small or “non-essential” retailers to open if they can do so safely.

“Barrie’s small businesses need you to move quickly again.”