SARNIA, ONT. -- During its fifth community news conference, leaders from Sarnia and Lambton County expressed disappointment in not advancing to Stage 3 of Ontario’s recovery plan, but there is optimism that call will mirror the Stage 2 progression.

"I’m hoping and assuming that a week from yesterday, we should be planning to move to phase three as well if there are no more outbreaks," Sarnia Lambton MPP Bob Bailey said. 

Lambton Warden Bill Weber thinks the extra time will be educational, "I think it’s quite appropriate, we take that extra week, we learn from what others do, and how they open."

The federal government announced an extension to the border closure for an additional 30 days, which will continue to hurt the economy in the region according to Tourism Sarnia Executive Director Mark Perrin.

"Things like the border being closed, the impact of that is close to $15 million a month in lost economic tourism revenue."

The Chamber of Commerce believes it has plan to help stimulate the local economy. 

"This is something we have been working on for at least two-and-a-half weeks, almost three weeks. Going door to door, to retailers, to businesses, suggesting this initiative," says chamber President Allan Calvert.

His plan is to convert a four block stretch of Christina Street to a 'Pedestrian Safe' street zone. It will take effect Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. and continue until Sunday at 8 p.m. This will repeat every weekend until Sept. 27. 

According to the chamber, 90 per cent of businesses are in favour of the move that will see more space for shoppers and diners.

Mayor Mike Bradley supported the motion at a council meeting on Monday night, and believes these types of measures will outlive the pandemic. 

Throughout the county, businesses are saying, "give us this chance, give us this opportunity and we’ll prove you, that you can be more creative. We’re all learning, this has been great, and I think you’ll see a lot of this is going to stay."