London businesses sound the alarm: COVID closures loom
LONDON, ONT. -- Some of London’s most prominent businesses are sending an urgent S.O.S. to their customers.
Autumn weather combined with renewed concern about COVID-19 has seen consumer confidence plummet and hammered their bottom lines. The futures of many cherished local establishments are in sudden jeopardy.
“We already have lost a lot of those small businesses, and we do need support,” says Scott Crawford, owner of Bungalow Neighbourhood Hub in Old North.
On Wednesday, more than a dozen independent business owners came together seeking support from the customers who value their restaurants, clothing stores, and entertainment venues.
“We’re running at about 30 or 40 per cent,” explains Jessica Jazey-Spoelstra from Craft Farmacy on Wharncliffe Road.
Jazey-Spoelstra says government programs are keeping many local businesses afloat.
“I don’t see that a lot of businesses would survive the winter if we didn’t have those policies and things in place,” she says.
Owner of Joe Kool’s and Toboggan Brewing Company says local independent businesses provide thousands of jobs and contribute to the social fabric of London.
“Some are failing, and this (pandemic) is going to last a little longer, so we’re calling for support from the public to help those small businesses.”
“Having to have laid off so many employees is devastating to us,” adds Martha Leach from the entertainment complex at 100 Kellogg Lane.
Earlier this week, Laser Quest announced it has closed after 27-years in downtown.
The businesses taking part in the collective call for support were:
- Marienbad Restaurant
- Chaucer’s Pub
- Hangar 9 & Accents
- David E. White
- Bungalow Neighbourhood Hub
- Craft Farmacy
- Joe Kool’s
- Toboggan Brewing Company
- Fellini Koolini’s
- David’s Bistro
- JD’s Kitchen
- The Park Hotel Suites
- Mythic Grill
- The Tasting Room
- 100 Kellogg Lane
- Powerhouse Brewing Company
The businesses emphasize they take all recommended pandemic precautions to keep customers safe.
Constantine Kappos from Mythic Grill urges Londoners to rally around their favourite businesses in the coming weeks and months.
“We’re afraid it’s going to be a tough winter. We just want people to support us, whether it’s dine-in or take-out.”