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Alberta businesses refuse to walk backwards into Step 1 restrictions

Last Updated Apr 8, 2021 at 8:45 pm MDT

CALGARY (CityNews) — Tables at restaurants across the province need to be shut down by noon on Friday but one restaurant isn’t going down with public health orders.

“You know when I see Ikea posting they can have 812 people in their store at any time, that’s more than I see in a week,” said Kevin Young, owner of Benny’s Breakfast Bar.

There are more refusing to close like them, who say they’re not anti-lockdown, they understand the science – but this could be the time they close for good.

Benny’s Breakfast Bar says it’s all about the experience, and these days the 1950s nostalgia is mixed with plexiglass and masks, but the owner says there haven’t been cases among staff or customers since last March.

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“If you’re going to shut down, shut everybody down, do curbside service for every business. Just attacking restaurants continually, doesn’t seem to be doing anything. It’s just that we’re an easy target,” said Young.

Not only restaurants are going against public health orders.

Sweat Science Boxing in Inglewood is refusing to go back to Step 1 restrictions and has set up an online fundraiser to deal with anticipated legal fees.

It says it’s taking a stand to support mental health.

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“I’m not worried about me, but I’ve hit points over the last year, where I’m like ‘oh, I understand,'” Dustin Sutley, owner of Sweat Science Boxing said before getting emotional. “I personally spent $80,000 last year to keep a business open. In the world of small business, we’re not rich, we don’t have a whole bunch of money.

These people lose everything, they face crippling depression, and anxiety and stress and they’re not allowed to go anywhere to let that stuff out,” said Sutley.

Both these businesses say they’ll have to make a tough decision if Alberta Health Services orders them closed.