COVID-19: Regina businesses have difficult decisions ahead
REGINA -- Local businesses in Regina have some difficult decisions ahead, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The owner of Groovy Mama, Cara Zimmerman, said her store will likely close if the outbreak continues for months.
Zimmerman is among many business owners in Regina who have had to decide whether to stay open or close while the pandemic continues.
“We decided to stay open because really we have no choice,” Zimmerman said. “This is my only income as a family member and we’re a sole proprietorship. EI doesn’t really qualify for us. If I have one customer come in and that customer spends money that day, that pays a bill that day.”
Zimmerman is taking preventative cleaning measures in the store to reduce any possible transmissions of the virus. She also said if she or anyone in her family becomes sick, she will close the doors.
“Transmission is terrifying,” Zimmerman said. “We would never want to end up with one of us sick and risking transmitting it. If one of us did get sick in our household we would be closing the store.”
Zimmerman is also now offering delivery service to people to reduce social interactions.
“I’m here to do deliveries; I’m here for curb side pick-up. If you can support a small business, please do.”
Rebellion Brewing has also had fewer customers through the door in recent days.
President, Mark Heise, said he’s worried about some of his fellow business owners in the days ahead.
“We’re all optimistic that we’ll get through this but the reality is that a lot of us wont,” Heise said. “That’s very concerning. There is no safety net for small businesses.”
Heise thinks all levels of government need to do more for small businesses during this pandemic.
“The opportunity here is to come together as a community and I really do think the government has a role to play in that.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, John Hopkins, has been in talks with local business owners about their future as a business.
“This is having an impact on the economy and a lot of people are starting to say this could put us into a recession,” Hopkins said.
“We need to be mindful of that and take steps to ensure that if we do go into a recession that its not a long recession and that we can work our way through this which is in the best interest of all Canadians.”
On Monday, the Mayor of Regina said he is aware of the challenges small businesses are being faced with right now and is looking into what can be done.
“If you look at restaurants, hotels around the city there is a direct impact and its a significant impact,” Mayor of Regina Michael Fougere said. “Certainly we are concerned about that as a community. But that will be a discussion for another time.”