Several small business owners in Sudbury that have been deemed 'non-essential' during the provincial lockdown are speaking out. They've created a video that highlights the hardships local businesses are facing while being temporarily closed down.
The creator of the video is Jonathan Boucher, who has owned and operated Appearances Hair Salon since 2014. Boucher said the main message he wants to get across in the video is that all jobs are essential.
"Although the government deems us as un-essential, all jobs are essential," he said. "My income is essential for my family's survival and everybody needs their income."
Boucher said he is not sure why big box stores are open, but not small businesses.
"When you have a big box store that allows approximately 400 people in, there’s not 400 staff members there keeping track of the people -- what they are touching, whether they have their mask on," he said. "But in my business, there’s two employees and two clients, so we can make sure that client stays six feet away from the other client."
Hair by Lori is another business that had to close its doors for the time being. Lori-Ann Dhinel opened her salon 16 years ago. She said it’s devastating to think she could lose everything.
"At this point, I feel like everything that I’ve worked so hard for, as a single parent, I could lose it in the blink of an eye," said Dhinel. "The last closure I had to remortgage."
The owner of Studio Cardinal, Rose Cardinal, said she wanted to be a part of the video because she feels hopeless and wants something to be done.
"Someone else is telling me that I can’t work," Cardinal said. "I am not a person who doesn’t follow the rules. I am okay with the mask. I am okay with all the additional safety measures I need to take, which, to be honest, as a tattoo artist are not that much more than what I was already doing to ensure my safety and my client's safety."
The business owners have also sent a message to Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
They say with the video, they are hoping to get the message out there that they are essential too, and refuse to be left behind.