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Ajax, Ontario, L1T 2Z9

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Ajax - Pickering Board of Trade



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Statement from APBOT Executive Director Nicole Gibson: Mandated Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

Posted 2 years ago on · Permalink

At the heart of every small business are the people that run it. Today’s order by the Government of Ontario to close non-essential workplaces to fight the spread to COVID-19 is tremendously difficult, but important to protecting the health of those small business owners, workers, and the people they love. By acting decisively to manage this virus now, it is hoped that we can all be back to work sooner.

Late last week, we partnered with Durham Region, local chambers of commerce and boards of trade, and other stakeholders on a survey of local business. At that time, the impacts of COVID-19 were already being felt, with declining profit, loss of staff due to illness and childcare needs, and supply chain challenges. In the days following, cases of COVID-19 have climbed, restrictions have tightened, and many businesses have made the painful decision to temporarily close their doors.

Moving forward, our members have made it clear that they need clarity during this difficult time. When the emergency order is issued tomorrow, we ask that it be clearly and carefully drafted to ensure that the list of essential services is sufficiently broad, that the chains and supports relied upon by essential services are not interrupted (i.e. delivery services), and that non-essential services be permitted to effectively operate remotely (i.e. infrequent in person mail pick-up is allowed).

Further, while the federal government has announced substantial business supports, business owners forced to lay off staff need to know whether the government will be delaying the automatic termination after 13-weeks. Further, business owners need to know whether these terminations will be exempt from normal statutory entitlements as a result of frustration. To avoid further layoffs, the government can support businesses, by increasing the promised payroll subsidy and revising the terms of the Work-Share program.

The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade continues to work closely with Durham Region to determine the impact on local business, provide free tools, and to help navigate access to the government programs available. We encourage anyone looking for this information to visit and

This is an extremely challenging time for small business, in Ajax, Pickering, and around the world. But we are in this together. Together we will stay home and flatten the curve. Together we will navigate through the challenges of the coming days, weeks, and months. Together we will be open for business again.


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Established in 1955, the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT) is the voice of business in Ajax and Pickering, ON. With more than 650 members, APBOT represents an array of business sectors and small to large organizations. APBOT is part of the nation-wide network of Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade, as well as the Joint Chambers of Durham. For more information regarding the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade, visit:


For more information, please contact:

Samantha Paterson, Communications & Policy Specialist, Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade

C: 905-903-7903 | E: