Gym owner says Stage 3 won't save every business

Gym (Flickr)

We're about four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and things have become a bit more optimistic as more of the province heads into Stage 3 of reopening.

But will that really help businesses?

Jennifer Lau owns Fitsquad in Downtown Toronto. She says the brand new facility was only open for six months before they were forced to shut down.

"For us to be in the situation that we are now is quite frightening. Just when things were starting to get rolling, we had to close our doors March 15," Lau says. "I mean we took almost two years in terms of planning and build-out."

Lau says the business received a $40,000 commercial loan from the government when the pandemic first hit, but that only makes up a maximum of two months rent.

"The government has extended the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance until the end of July, but that doesn't mean that many businesses have been able to take that opportunity as landlords have not been mandated to opt into that support," Lau said.

Lau says the biggest concerns lie in the next six to eight months.

"Given the social distancing protocols, how will we be able to operate at maybe 30, 40 per cent max, while still incurring 100 per cent of our fixed costs."

However Lau is hopeful things will turn around.