Frustration is growing for some small businesses owners in Kingsville and Leamington as they remain in Stage 1 of reopening.
Windsor and other parts of Essex County advanced to Stage 2 on Thursday, but there’s still no date for reopening Kingsville and Leamington due to the high number of COVID-19 cases in the local agri-farm sector.
“It’s been horrible,” says small business owner Trevor Loop. “We need a voice. We need help.”
Loop joined Kingsville mayor Nelson Santos and Leamington mayor Hilda MacDonald at a rally in Kingsville on Tuesday.
Loop says farm outbreaks have nothing to do with small business in town and yet they can’t open.
“We understand the plight of all parties involved that have been hard done by this, and the frustration to this point, is small business just hasn’t got a voice, and to be quite honest with you, it’s been forgotten about,” says Loop.
About 680 workers in the agri-farm sector in Leamington and Kingsville have tested positive for the virus. Health officials are working to help reduce the cases and prevent the spread.
On Tuesday, there were 22 new cases in Windsor-Essex, including six in the agri-farm sector.
Small business owner Heather Brown says both municipalities should be allowed to move forward together.
“Kingsville would not want to be left behind without Leamington and I believe that that’s vice-versa,” says Brown. “We’re in this together and we’re going to get through this together.”
The small business owners are asking for help.
“We need help and we need it now,” says Loop.
Essex MP Chris Lewis says at the onset of this Prime Minister Justin Trudeua said that no business and no individual shall be left behind.
“Next week I am going to Ottawa, I am one of the few MP’s being recalled back to the House of Commons and I will be taking the federal side of these requests directly to the House of Commons,” says Lewis.
With files from CTV Windsor's Chris Campbell.