Mississauga mayor wants to limit big box stores to selling essentials only. Mayor Bonnie Crombie tweeted that today “I will be putting forward a motion to limit the in-person sale of non-essential items in big box stores. I believe this will create fairness for small retailers who have had to close their doors and move to online, curbside pickup and delivery.”
Peel and Toronto have been in Grey-Lockdown category of the Government of Ontario’s Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework since Monday, November 23, 2020, and the province says the two regions will continue in this category for 28 days in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ease the burden on hospitals. As part of this lockdown, only businesses selling essential items have been deemed allowed to remain open.
There has been a great deal of backlash on social media and among small business owners saying it is unfair that small businesses have had to close down or provide curbside pickup only, while big box chains like Walmart and Costco continue to sell similar non-grocery products.
One argument has been that the smaller shops have already been complying with provincial regulations by implementing (some a great expense) extensive COVID-19 safety protocols. While others also say the smaller shops are equally if not more able to manage the comings and goings of customers both inside and outside of their stores.
Some are also saying, the province should allow these small businesses to remain open because they are not responsible for driving up the spike in cases.
While, Mayor Crombie says that decision is under provincial control, she says she wants to even the playing field, so to speak, by putting forth a motion in council that these big box stores must be only allowed to sell essential food, grocery and PPE items.
“I and my council members will be putting a motion forward at regional council tomorrow that will ask our Medical Officer of Health to limit big box stores from selling non-essentials,” said Crombie.
“It truly concerns me that people are going out to these big box outlets and buying more than just the essentials, and this can only lead to longer visits to the stores and increase of transmission,” said Crombie at a media conference held yesterday.
“I want to level the playing field for our smaller retailers. I know that small retailers are barely hanging on,” said Crombie. “They’ve been asked to close their in-person shopping at the most critical time of year for their bottom line. At a time when they make upwards of 50 – 60 percent of their annual revenues.”
“Big Box stores do not need any further competitive advantages,” Crombie said.
Mississauga’s Mayor Bonnie Crombie also urges residents to buy local online and curbside from local small businesses as much and “please commit to ordering take-out at least once a week from our amazing restaurants as much as you can. They need us now more than ever,” said Crombie.
by TO Times Staff