Waterloo Region businesses could reopen again in middle of February
KITCHENER -- Businesses waiting for the green light from the province to reopen their doors may not have to wait much longer.
With the Ontario government expected to announce plans to start reopening the economy on Monday, sources tell CTV News this could then start in some areas as early as next week.
For Waterloo Region businesses, this could also mean reopening around the middle of February.
Ryan Leandres, the owner of The Adventurers' Guild Café in Kitchener, began strategising months ago on how to reopen his board game café safely.
"It was kind of an immediate process because I knew it would come down to this," he said. "We immediately cut down our counter space in our main room to space out tables, we rethought the entire back area, and the back process of preparing food.
"I need to be able to bring people in or I can't make the kind of numbers I would like to make."
Greg Durocher, the president of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, says businesses need the province's reopening plan to come as soon as possible.
"We need to give them a chance," he said. "They're dying."
The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses has been urging the government to allow stores to reopen at 20 per cent capacity.
Jovana Prica, the owner of Uni+Koncept in Waterloo, says the proposed limit is far better than a continued closure.
"I'm 100 per cent ready," she said. "I can't wait to welcome people back in person.
"I would rather wait as long as we have to and then not have any more lockdowns."
The president of the CFIB says 75,000 Ontario businesses are at risk of closure due to the lockdown.
"Frustration has very quickly turned to anger," said Ryan Mallough, Ontario Regional Director for the CFIB. "There are people whose livelihoods are on the line.
"The more that reopen, the quicker, better, and stronger the recovery is going to be."