CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Following the new COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the province Tuesday, there are still a lot of unanswered questions from businesses in the city.
As part of the new restrictions, restaurants, bars, and hair salons are being told to close, but John Taylor with Notorious Hair Group says he feels like they have done everything in compliance with the guidelines.
“It’s kind of an unfair advantage I feel for us as business owners to be able to somehow thrive through this season and try to have a decent Christmas financially with our families and everything else.”
“Nobody wants to get shut down for two days, let alone two weeks, let alone one month, you know. So, I know that we are doing everything we possibly can to keep it a safe environment for everyone that comes in,” added Taylor.
If they are eligible for the government re-launch grant, Taylor says it will help.
“We might be eligible for this grant but that’s all they are giving you. They’re not giving you any kind of forms of rent relief, they’re not giving you any kinds of forms of easement in saying you know what, don’t worry we will take care of you, we will help you out, we will do whatever we can,” said Taylor.
Troy Winget owns Redbloom Salons throughout the city – as a small business owner affected by the changes announced Tuesday, he appreciates the time to prepare. They’ve also extended hours on Saturday for those who had appointments in the next 28 days.
“We were actually overwhelmed for the last three hours during the news conference and after. We want to accommodate the clients that are coming in right now and our books are filling up.
With several businesses closing, and malls and retail stores reducing capacities, people are taking advantage of the next few days of normalcy.
Winget says though there is relief, these restrictions are about reducing losses at this point, not getting by unscathed – and the success of many businesses depends on how people handle them.
“This is a wake-up call. For the survival of our city, and our local businesses and our restaurants, it’s up to us as a public to get it straight.”
Infectious Disease researcher with the University of Calgary, Dr. Craig Jenne says the government had limited options.
“The point I think Albertans have to recognize at this point is cases have risen to the level, hospitalizations are at the level where there is simply no choice.”
Jenne adds, even though stores can remain open, it doesn’t mean we can socialize.
“Even though individual shops were doing their part we need to make sure that people are still understanding that gathering in the mall is still a risk.”
Jenne says it will still be a few weeks before we see the results of the new restrictions.
“So, expect unfortunately hospitalizations to still rise, ICU admissions to rise and even worse a tragically fatalities to still rise over the next few weeks.”
The new restrictions will be in place until Jan. 12.
–With files from Taylor Braat, CityNews