'Stay healthy and do the right thing for us,' local businesses brace for lockdown closures
LONDON, ONT. -- Just a week after Middlesex-London entered the red-control zone under provincial guidelines, the region is now moving into lockdown with the rest of the province on Boxing Day as part of Ontario’s response to COVID-19 case numbers rising.
But what does Monday’s government announcement mean for businesses right here at home?
As part of the restrictions, restaurants bars and food or drink establishments are closed for indoor and outdoor service.
Take out, drive through and delivery is permitted.
When it comes to hair salons and barber shops, they too are shutting their doors to customers.
The owner of Sabri Hair Studio on Oxford Street, Sabri Sulejmani, says phones have been ringing off the hook with clients trying to squeeze in an appointment ahead of the lockdown.
“Phones ringing, emails are coming, people are trying to get in these few days that we are still open.”
Sulejmani says the lockdown will inevitably lead to a huge loss of income.
“We saw it in the spring and it was three months, hopefully it doesn’t last that long. It wasn’t easy for us, for employees or for clients as well…hopefully we will get help from the government.”
Sulejmani adds while financial struggles are inevitable, he supports the government’s decision to go into lockdown.
“Overall the most important thing for us is to be safe and healthy, after that we will all come stronger.”
Under new lockdown measures, ski hills are being prohibited from opening, right as the winter season was about to get underway.
A member of the management team at Boler Mountain Ski Resort, Marty Thody is bracing for the impact closures will have on staff.
“It’s very disappointing news…tough news to take. We’ve had so many people work very hard.”
Boler Mountain staff were working hard all last week to get the hills covered in snow and ready for winter business that has now been cancelled.
Thody says his biggest concern is for his staff and loyal customers.
“There were just a lot of people looking forward to coming out...the financial aspect was never a question for us or a reason for opening, it was to provide a healthy outlet for the folks in London. We’ll be able to do that when the province is healthier.”
With season passes, Thody says customers can get a full refund up until Dec, 22, but adds that the season is not fully over.
Boler Mountain has decided to shutdown as of Monday, ahead of the lockdown. You can read their full statement here.
“Stay healthy and do the right things for us, hopefully we can turn this around starting in January and run until at least Easter.”
Meanwhile the Boler Patio Menu will still be available for takeout orders.
Sabri Hair Studio is also taking part in curbside pickup, they encourage those who are interested to visit their website here, or call ahead of time.