Ottawa businesses hit hard by COVID-19 eager to reopen
Premier Ford unveiled Ontario's first stage of economic recovery Thursday
Many Ottawa businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are looking forward to getting back to work.
On Thursday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the launch of the province's first phase of reopening the economy.
It comes after the province ordered all non-essential stores and services to close in March, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The first phase — one of three — will see businesses like marinas, golf courses, pet groomers and private campgrounds begin to open this weekend.
Last month, the government said each phase will last at least two to four weeks.
Local businesses ready
Mike Copeland, general manager and co-owner of Pine View Golf Course, said his business is down hundreds of thousands of dollars because of COVID-19 closures.
While it won't be a great year financially, Copeland said he's happy to be finally be opening.
Jayme Montero owns Purrdy Paws Pet Grooming Spa on Bank Street. She said her phone has been ringing off the hook since the premier made his announcement Thursday afternoon.
Montero said she's glad the province is allowing groomers to reopen since so many pet owners depend on her services.
"It was the animals that really suffered during these last two months," she said.
"We were unable to to reach a lot of our clients in the community that are especially vulnerable: seniors that don't drive [and] people with disabilities people that don't have a vehicle."
Mike Cox, who manages the Port of Call Marina in Dunrobin, said there were high hopes his business would do better this year.
WATCH: How the pandemic has affected a rural west Ottawa marina
Phase 1: What's resuming — and when
Saturday, May 16
- Marinas and boat clubs.
- Golf driving ranges.
- Private parks and campgrounds.
- Businesses that board animals.
Tuesday, May 19
- Retail stores that aren't in malls (with strict physical distancing measures in place).
- Outdoor sports fields, tennis courts and off-leash dog parks.
- Pet care, including grooming and training.
- Certain medical services such as scheduled surgeries and in-person counselling.
- Construction projects.
- Libraries (pickup only).
- Domestic services like housecleaning and cooking.
With files from Stu Mills