Businesses waiting for information on gradual reopening of region
KITCHENER -- Businesses in Waterloo Region are waiting on more information from the province about when they can reopen their doors.
Some say shutting down again could be devastating.
"Some of them are really weighing that factor out now on whether it's worth moving forward and how much more they can stand before it's simply impossible to reopen their doors," said Greg Durocher, president of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce.
He said he speaks to small business owners every day and they're hoping they can eventually return to business as usual.
Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce President Ian McLean said another open/close cycle could kill some businesses as they struggle to stay afloat.
"There's an angst with a lot of businesses," he said. "It's been hugely challenging. Many, if not all, small businesses, those that have had to close down, it's been very disruptive."
McLean added many people have dipped into their savings to keep their businesses afloat.
"It's been really difficult and challenging," he said.
While some have shifted to online shopping, the revenue doesn't compare.
"We can't survive online, a store of our size," said Michael Logan, sales manager at Channer's Mens Apparel. "We are trying to get our online up to eight to 10 per cent of the business."
Logan said they're hoping to reopen with new capacity limits laid out by the province.
Restaurants are still waiting to find out whether they will be allowed to offer in-person dining.
Ben Ingram, assistant general manager at Beer Town, said they're preparing for any option.
"If we get the go ahead from the government, within one to two days we can essentially be fully operational," he said.
Takeout has helped keep business steady.
"We will be here, right as we are, when we reopen," Ingram said. "A lot of restaurants will not be."
Ingram said many businesses likely won't be able to open their doors again.
"The open/close, open/close is tough on everyone for sure," he said.