Barrie mayor pens letter of support for restaurants under provincial restrictions

"I urge you to support this sector. Restaurants aren't just a place to eat."

Barrie’s Mayor has made a plea to the premier for more aid to restaurants after the province removed capacity limits at some other venues.

Mayor Jeff Lehman penned the letter on Wednesday, addressed to Premier Doug Ford, stating he is writing on behalf of more than 400 restaurants in the City of Barrie. He says restaurant owners have told him recent additional public health requirements have put more burden on an already struggling sector, with both customer concerns to manage, and the extra costs associated with staffing requirements.

In his letter, Lehman points out that while capacity limits were removed for such venues as concert halls, sports stadiums, and other event facilities on Saturday, limits remain on the restaurant sector. Lehman asks the premier to immediately announce additional financial support for the sector, should restaurant restrictions remain in place. “I cannot stress enough that the restaurant sector, who continue to be burdened by disproportionate restrictions on their ability to do business, need your help,” Lehman wrote.

Lehman’s letter suggests the provincial government offer support i the form of a wage subsidy for kitchen and dining room workers, helping to attract workers and give a boost to the ones already doing a difficult job.

“With patio weather just about finished, time is of the essence,” concludes Lehman. “I urge you to support this sector. Restaurants aren’t just a place to eat – they are creative, entrepreneurial, energetic, and places for social connection.”