After spending to navigate coronavirus, Toronto-area businesses face uncertain future with lockdown

After spending to navigate coronavirus, Toronto-area businesses face uncertain future with lockdown

As business owners and employees in Toronto and Peel Region brace for a 28-day lockdown beginning on Monday amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, some say planning uncertainty and thousands spent to adapt to the pandemic mean an uncertain future.

“We’ve put so much effort into all this, and having that taken away for the holidays… it sucks at the end of the day,” Chad Welton, co-owner of Anglr restaurant in Toronto, told Global News Friday afternoon.

“I just hope that locals keep supporting their restaurants and small businesses.”

Welton, like many other Toronto and Peel Region business owners, said he has spent thousands to buy heaters and rent tents to cover his outdoor restaurant patio. For weeks, indoor dining has been banned in the city and reduced-capacity outdoor dining has been providing some income.

Read more: Ontario puts Toronto, Peel into lockdown; curbside retail, restaurants move to takeout only

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During a news conference Friday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford and Ontario government officials announced a lockdown would begin at 12:01 a.m. on Monday. Restaurants and personal care businesses (such as salons, barbershops etc.) were among the hardest hit with restrictions such as sit-in services, indoor and outdoor dining all banned for at least four weeks.

The news came as 1,418 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the province on Friday, along with eight new deaths related to the virus. There were 400 new cases in Peel Region, 393 in Toronto and 168 in York Region.…

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