Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and retailers across Ontario and Canada have worked relentlessly to address COVID-19 realities since the beginning of the pandemic.
It will always be the right decision to prioritize life and health over economic concerns. We simply expect that any pending closures or lockdowns be made in a manner that is evidence-based. If not based on evidence, lockdowns will create economic carnage regarding lost jobs and businesses, without improving the health outcomes.
Retail stores are low-risk environments and data on the spread of COVID-19 wholly supports this. Retailers are safe and responsible and have done everything possible to ensure the health, safety and security of their employees, consumers and Ontarians. If closures are prolonged, many retailers in Ontario who are already on shaky ground, will struggle to remain viable. Of particular concern to many is that the 12 weeks leading up to New Year’s Day can account for up to one-third of annual sales for a business.
Most Canadians and most businesses are following the rules and they should not be punished for the irresponsible actions of a few. Those who endanger others should face consequences, with strong local enforcement. When restrictions are necessary, they should be applied with care to ensure a level playing field.
Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada
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About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest private sector employer. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.RetailCouncil.org