Let business operate - DIA

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The Downtown Improvement Area wants the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit to reevaluate restrictions placed on small business during the current stay-at-home order.

The downtown is ready to re-open, “and we are prepared to do so in a safe manner,” Michelle Trudeau, chair of the Downtown North Bay & Waterfront board of directors, writes in a letter to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, Dr. Jim Chirico, the local health unit’s medical officer of health, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, Mayor Al McDonald and city coucil.

“We are asking our local government to re-evaluate the restrictions placed on small businesses during the current lockdown. Our concerns are the mental health of our membership and community, the impact on our local economy, the uneven playing field in relation to small and large businesses, and inconsistency of restrictions.”

North Bay Parry Sound remains in a stay-at-home order until March 8. The district has been in lockdown since Dec. 26.

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Trudeau said the DIA would like to see local leaders prove they are behind the local business community.

“Part of the solution is having an open dialogue with your community partners to provide a safe and productive strategy to allow local businesses to operate on the same playing field as big box retail,” Trudeau said.

“Along with reduced capacity, small businesses can offer one-on-one services, contact tracing and other safety protocols that are difficult to manage in larger retail establishments. Downtown North Bay  Waterfront (DIA) stands with small business and our community, and, like you, want to ensure that the independent, locally owned businesses that are the backbone of the North Bay economy survive this.”

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