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Monica Gomez says she created her contactless Christmas lights drive-thru event specifically as a safe experience that could spread a little vacation joy during COVID-19.

She said she was following government guidelines on how to do business safely, with measures like contactless payments and requiring visitors to stay in their vehicles at all times. She even applied for a grant specifically designed for drive-through companies was she said

So she was caught by surprise on December 21, when she found out about Ontario’s nationwide lockdown on Boxing Day, her company had to dim the lights

“(The grant) gave not just myself, but anyone who wants to drive-thru, the confidence to keep investing,” said Gomez. “It’s been a tough year for us now. Now we’ve got all that money in.” invested this experience and in our busiest weeks we are closed ”

Gomez has been running a Christmas lights festival called Polar Drive 27 since November It was originally supposed to run until January 3 Gomez said they were hoping to extend it for another two weeks because they were “beaten” by so many parents who wanted something certain looking for their children

“It’s really all people have, and mental health is such a big problem right now,” said Gomez, “And the only thing families can safely do together just doesn’t make sense for us to take that away.” / P>

Mississauga, where Polar Drive is located, has been below a gray lockout value since November 23. The comprehensive nationwide restrictions that came into effect on Saturday prohibit drive-in or drive-thru entertainment events However, drive-through restaurants are permitted

This is an indication of what is viewed by the province as a ham-fist and unfair approach to business restrictions

“At the same time, you allow driving through restaurants that are in contact. And then there is our experience where there is no contact and people literally just drive by looking at lights,” said Gomez

She said that since schools are closed for at least two weeks, it makes even less sense to remove what she believes is a safe option for families to get out of

Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, expects the statewide lockdown to be the nail in the coffin for many independent businesses, according to CFIB data, more than a third of Ontario companies say they won’t do a second lockdown will survive

“This is super bad banning a large chunk of Ontario’s business community during a very important season is just going to be a punishment,” said Kelly. “There’s no question that there will be thousands and thousands of companies that don’t create””

Kelly is less concerned about the government’s nationwide lockdown on Boxing Day than about seeing an unfair, unified approach that creates an unfair playing field for independent businesses

Due to the strict lockdown measures, which were originally supposed to start on Thursday, almost all non-essential businesses in northern regions must close for at least two weeks and in southern regions for four weeks. Large retail stores that also sell non-essential items can continue to operate / p>

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Boxing Day

World News – CA – Don’t expect much of a buzz on Boxing Day on Saturday as the statewide lockdown goes into effect