VIDEO: City to Allow Retailers to Stay Open on Holidays

The question of being open on a holiday will now be up to retailers in Windsor.

In an effort to reduce red tape, council has passed a bylaw that will give businesses the opportunity to be open if they choose.

Jordan Goure represents Windsor Breweries, a collective of micro breweries in the region.

He says this will be a big help for small businesses.

"People come to our city, they want to try our local products, and people come to our city in droves, even local people who have moved out of the city come back for holidays," says Goure.  "On these days, specifically, we couldn't sell any beer to them to go home. So it really made no sense whatsoever."

He says from his experience staff are more than willing to work on holidays.

"Speaking on behalf of the breweries, having beer at work, we have happy staff all the time," says Goure.  "We're never going to force an employee to work that wouldn't be a happy working relationship regardless of the holiday or any day of the year. I could see what they're saying with big retailers, but as far as small businesses, I just can't see that at all."

He says the holiday closure bylaw wasn't being enforced anyway.

"I think for other small retailers, they're going to be super happy that we fought to get this passed for them as well," says Goure.  "I think a lot of people probably were open and didn't know and they couldn't even police it. So really it was illogical red tape that they had. They had a law that they weren't policing through bylaw. I think all the small businesses now, the point of it is now we can market it."

In the past, businesses wanting to open on a holiday had to pay a $200 application fee and wait for approval from the city.

Under the Employment Standards Act, most retail employees have the right to refuse work on public holidays.