The second lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic has small businesses preparing for the worst, including all of the businesses in Port Credit.
Lockdown restrictions in the village anchored at Hurontario Street and Lakeshore Road in Mississauga allow some businesses to remain open for curbside pickup and takeout.
But for people like Ryan Long, owner of Spice Lounge and Tapas, that’s not enough.
“The idea of ‘only takeout’ is that liquor sales go way down and a venue that is open until 2 a.m., seven days a week is dependent on those sales,” Long said. “Only to-go food is more geared toward staple places of food chains and pizza.
“That is not what we do,” he said.
This is the time of year when most small businesses usually see their highest revenues, but for the holidays of 2020 many are focused on making ends meet while facing evictions.
According to an October report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, consumer holiday spending has dropped 30.7 per cent from 2019 due to the pandemic.
Harula Fraggoulis, co-owner of Raw Aura Organic Cuisine, said the times are difficult, even more so with the cold weather and the lockdown in Peel forcing the closure of their patio.
“Even though our regulars have been loyal, it is completely different not being able to be open to the public,” she said. “People walk by on the strip all the time and look at us as a healthy alternative and come in to try us out, but since that is no longer an option, it has been challenging.”
At the Colossus Greek Taverna, which has existed for more than 30 years, owner Manny Tsouvallas said it was important to remain positive.
“We always had a strong foothold on takeout, we always believed in it,” he said. “After the first lockdown we stayed, we persevered.
“At first, we had no idea what to expect and the unknown can be a scary thought, but this time around we know what to expect and we are prepared,” Tsouvallas said.
Some customers are opting to take their business elsewhere to regions such as Halton where businesses can remain open for dine-in.
“The longer commute is worth it if I am able to sit down and enjoy my food,” 26-year-old Jay Patel said. “I’m so tired of ordering takeout almost every day.”
The Port Credit Business Improvement Association has stepped in to help support businesses, survival depends on support from locals.
“We have a group chat called PC Hospitalities and business owners from all over the strip are involved in this conversation,” Long said.
“That’s what local is all about. If it’s about Port Credit, it’s by definition a village. In a pandemic, small businesses need to support each other,” he said.