The Mayor of Mississauga has proposed limiting the sale of non-essential items at the city’s big-box stores in an effort to support small businesses.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie announced the measure at a press conference on November 25 and said that she planned to bring it forward at the Peel Regional Council meeting the following day.
“I know that many of our small retailers are barely hanging on. They’ve been asked to close their in-person shopping at the most critical time of year for their bottom line,” Crombie said. “It is simply unfair that big-box stores can continue to sell non-essential items to people in their stores while small retailers can not.”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford placed Peel Region and Toronto into a 28-day lockdown on November 23 to help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the regions.
Under the province’s Grey – Lockdown measures, grocery stores, supermarkets, and big-box retailers that sell groceries are allowed to remain open at a reduced capacity. Retail stores are only permitted to offer curbside pick-up and delivery.
In addition to levelling the playing field for small businesses, the measure would also protect people’s health.
Crombie said it was “truly concerning” that so many people were visiting big-box outlets to purchase items like TVs, sporting goods, and home décor. The shopping means people are spending more time in stores, increasing the risk of transmitting the virus, she said.
In addition to putting limits on big-box stores, the mayor urged residents to buy locally-made products and to order food from the city’s restaurants. She told residents living in lockdown regions to not visit other parts of the province to shop or dine out.
Addressing small business owners directly, Crombie encouraged them to apply for all federal and provincial business supports.
“Our small businesses are run by our families, our friends and our neighbours in our community,” she said. “We cannot afford to see them close their doors permanently as a result of this lockdown.”
Ontario reported 1,478 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday morning, 572 of which are in Peel.