OPSEU/SEFPO to Ontarians: Support local businesses during lockdown


Toronto – OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is calling on everyone in Ontario to support local businesses during the province-wide COVID-19 lockdown that takes effect Boxing Day.

“These are the folks who don’t have big corporations to backstop them,” said Thomas. “Big box retailers get government backing and can weather the storm, but local businesses are on their own. They’re part of who we are, and when we support them we’re supporting ourselves.”

The provincial government’s lockdown announcement still allows small businesses to do curbside pickup and local restaurants can still do takeout and delivery, noted Thomas.
“These folks are the heart of our communities,” said Thomas. “Your kid might have a classmate who ends their day waiting in the kitchen of their parents’ restaurant, until they can fill that final order and close up.”

“They’re grateful for every customer,” Thomas added. “They’re the kind of folks who supported the front-line heroes of my union during the spring lockdown. I’m sure OPSEU/SEFPO’s 170,000 members will be supporting local businesses during this new tough time. All Ontarians should join us.”

OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida says the independent restaurants and small shops are what give Ontario communities their unique identity. Many local shops are hanging on by a thread and it would be a tragedy if they went under due to circumstances beyond their control.

“It would be truly heartbreaking to see storefront after storefront boarded up because of this pandemic,” said Almeida. “That’s not the Ontario I want to live in. The folks who own these businesses are our friends and neighbours and we just can’t let them down. We must be there for them and it’s the best way we can truly show them that we’re all in this together.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas 1-613-329-1931