Following on the Ontario government’s announcement last week allowing a select few businesses to re-open earlier this week, there was another announcement yesterday allowing more businesses to re-open under the same strict public and health safety guidelines.
The following is a list of businesses that may re-open, and their scheduled re-opening dates over the next week:
- May 8, 2020: Garden centres and nurseries can re-open for in-store payment and purchases (previously, these businesses could only offer curbside pick-up and delivery);
- May 9, 2020: Hardware stores and safety supply stores can re-open for in-store payment and purchases (previously, these businesses could only offer curbside pick-up and delivery);
- May 11, 2020: Retail stores with street entrances can re-open but they can only offer curbside pick-up and delivery (previously, non-essential businesses were required to be closed).
Small businesses that are planning to re-open are reminded to follow public and health safety guidelines including The Ministry of Health’s Guidance for Essential Workplaces and the Ontario’s specific-sector health and safety guidelines. Best practices include practicing physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, keeping surfaces clean and disinfected, installing physical barriers, using person protective equipment, increasing air circulation, and offering contact-less payment.
In addition, construction projects related to below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects (such as apartments and condominiums) will be allowed to begin. Previously, only above-grade condominium residential construction projects were allowed to continue.
All Emergency Orders, including the Order mandating the closure of non-essential businesses, were extended to May 19, 2020 – after the Victoria Day weekend.
We recognize that small businesses will continue to struggle during the slow and gradual re-opening of the Ontario economy. Please review our blogs on Small Business Relief Resources During COVID-19 / Coronavirus and COVID-19 | Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program.
If you require legal advice or legal representation in respect to small business issues such as contract disputes, frustration and force majeure clauses, event cancellation, commercial tenancy issues including rent deferral, franchise disclosure obligations, enforcement matters, please contact us for an initial consultation. Our lawyers have expertise and experience in small business litigation matters and can assist you in resolving your legal issues and finding a practical solution in these difficult times.
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