Toronto’s small businesses are staging a protest over the lockdown measures at 12 pm on Friday.
Gerrard India Bazaar Business Improvement Area (BIA) posted a notice asking for small business owners like retailers, restaurants, salons, dance studios, and boutique gyms in the City take a stand from 12 pm to 12:30 pm in the “Small Business takes a Stand Campaign” along with several other BIAs in the Toronto.
The rally, which is being promoted with #ThinkOutsidetheBox, is being promoted so customers can support local businesses when buying gifts and other essentials this year, as opposed to big-box retailers that remain open.
Participating business owners are asked to stand outside their storefront with a sign hoping the visual impact sends a strong message to government officials.
“Help amplify our stories, and use your influence to encourage friends and family to skip the big box stores and shop local this year,” the Gerrard India Bazaar Business BIA release said.
“Publicly call out the unfair advantage big box stores have in being permitted to keep their doors open, as small businesses (who are practicing safe protocol) are required to remain closed and continue to close permanently on our main streets.”
Our small business owners will be taking a (socially distant) stand outside their shops this coming Friday, December 11th, at 12 noon. Show your support ✊💖 ➡️ https://t.co/Gp66FQTd4F #thinkoutsidethebigbox #supportsmallbusiness pic.twitter.com/HhxpyKmwiy
— Gerrard India Bazaar (@GerrardIndiaBaz) December 10, 2020
The Broadview Danforth BIA will also be joining the rally, “Come out and stand in (socially distanced) solidarity with your small local shops.”
Join me and the local businesses as we all take a stand today from 12-12:30pm.
— Broadview Danforth BIA (@BroadviewDanBIA) December 11, 2020
The BIA added, “small shops need the support. Big box stores will survive, while little independent businesses have lost almost all – if not 100% of their sales in what is their busiest time of year! You cannot recover when your debt just keeps mounting!”
The GreekTown BIA also showed their support, emphasizing the visual impact will be too strong to ignore.
Small business owners in our BIA will be taking a stand outside of their shops this coming Friday, December 11th, from 12:00-12:30pm. The visual impact of this campaign is extremely strong and one that can’t be easily ignored. Please share! #ThinkOutsideTheBigBox #LocalLove pic.twitter.com/rzOj4VDnMG
— GreekTown BIA (@GreekTownBIA) December 10, 2020
The Toronto Association of BIA acknowledged the rally saying, “the businesses that make our main streets so vibrant and unique are forced to close their doors. Toronto’s BIAs take a stand at noon today.”
While corporate, big box chains continue to stay open and sell thousands of nonessential items, the businesses that make our main streets so vibrant and unique are forced to close their doors. Toronto’s BIAs take a stand at noon today. #thinkoutsidethebigbox pic.twitter.com/FsmgYfgfBD
— Toronto Association of BIAs (TABIA) (@TABIANews) December 11, 2020
The Downtown Yonge BIA also retweeted the information on social media.
Toronto and Peel Region have been in a lockdown since November 23, which will last at least 28 days.
All non-essential businesses were forced to close down. But, big-box retailers like Walmart can remain open as they also sell essential items like groceries.