Frustration building as Waterloo Region businesses enter another lockdown

Frustration levels for owners of Waterloo Region businesses are high once again as they shut down for at least another month.

Many told CTV News on Friday they’ll be missing a month’s worth of revenue and be out tens of thousands of dollars due to the new province-wide lockdown.

For Mike Kern of Arabella Park Beer Bar in Kitchener, the timing of the lockdown is especially frustrating, since they just opened up their new and improved patio and will have to send staff home that they just brought back.

“The months of planning that went into expanding our patio out again, offering a safe and enjoyable dining experience,” he said. “The staff are the people that are getting hit the hardest by this financially and mentally.

“[We’ll lose] $100,000 in possible sales, I would say.”

As of Friday, 80 people could dine outside at Arabella with all tables six feet apart. In the summer they hope to expand to their fully capacity of 120.

“We’re extremely disappointed,” said Kern. “But this is not the first time we were disappointed.”

Le Barbershop in Kitchener decided to stay open for the statutory holiday of Good Friday as many customers rushed to get one more cut in while they could.

“The last lockdown I didn’t think we could make through, and now there’s another lockdown and it’s like here we go again,” said owner Lezabeth Le. “How can we tell stores to be opened and limit the capacity of people in there when we can’t even have two people in here?”

Eric Shaw of Fuzion Fitness Cambridge says their industry is feeling targeted.

“We are angry, confused, and frustrated,” he said. “Why us? We’ve been open six and a half months and no transmissions, not even a staff member.”

Owners add that the hope is customers and clients stick through the lockdown and support them when restrictions are lifted.