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Calgary businesses are responding to new restrictions

CALGARY – New restrictions the province revealed on Tuesday have divided the business world.

Some believe the restrictions are going too far while others believe the province pulled its heels to impose them in the first place.

City & Country winery owner Chris Fodor said he closed his business last month when he saw COVID-19 infections skyrocket.

“(In November) the government should have said you knew what? Let’s just do it now, ”said Fodor.

“Let’s not get stuck in this type of political suicide by telling everyone to stay home for Christmas.”

Fodor says he spoke to his staff to close earlier than many other companies and only offer roadside service.

“We got the feeling when we saw the number of cases go up and we heard that other companies had to close because of an exposure. We just thought it wasn’t worth it for either of us,” said Fodor.

Targeted wrongly

However, Ernie Tsu, owner of the Trolley 5 Brewpub hotspot on 17th Avenue, said the measures were a slap in the face of the restaurant industry, which he believed was wrongly targeted.

“Any restriction announcement that comes out generally kicks our industry back by about 40 to 50 percent in sales,” said Tsu.

The Chamber of Commerce believes that as long as financial support is offered, these measures were the right one.

“For many companies, it’s a question of survival,” said interim CEO Murray Sigler.

“So they should continue to be dependent on financial support. The tougher the measures, the more financial support they need to survive the weather.”

The province says it is expanding the small and medium-sized business grant to allow businesses to request a second payment of $ 15,000 on top of what was already the first payment of $ 5,000 last month.

This grant is also expected to help businesses that have seen more than 30 percent of lost sales due to the pandemic, a decrease from the 40 percent previously required to qualify for funding.

Restaurants, bars, and pubs offer takeaway or roadside pickups only while dinner is closed.

Retail stores and shopping malls can be occupied up to 15 percent.

Casinos, hair salons and tattoo shops are closed from 12:01 a.m. on Sundays.

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