Shopping Discussion

Small Businesses - how to stay open

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  • Nov 30th, 2020 6:07 pm
[OP]
Member
Jun 28, 2010
329 posts
96 upvotes
Richmond Hill, ON

Small Businesses - how to stay open

Just curious. For those small businesses that are forced to to closed because they don't sell essential items, why don't they just stock a little bit of toilet paper or get a mini fridge and stock some milk. Stick a price tag on it and voila! You can stay open!

It levels the playing field with big box stores. I hear in the news that big box stores may have to stop selling non-essential items. They will be forced to sell essential items only. That's kind of ridiculous. How are they supposed to get rid of entire sections of their store?

Wouldn't it be easier for the small businesses to just buy a few bags of milk and stick a price tag on it? That's way easier. They can remain open and it levels the playing field so to speak. I mean they just want to stay open right? Doesn't this solve their problem?
16 replies
Member
Mar 22, 2020
385 posts
250 upvotes
They aren’t expecting big box stores to get rid of sections. Just rope them off and set up curb side like the rest of the world.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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To be fair, the gov't should tax all of the extra profits that big box stores/amazon are making at pay small businesses to close.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
[OP]
Member
Jun 28, 2010
329 posts
96 upvotes
Richmond Hill, ON
Canoes4Fun wrote: They aren’t expecting big box stores to get rid of sections. Just rope them off and set up curb side like the rest of the world.
One of the arguments from small business owners is that big box stores are allowed to sell non essentials. Sure big box stores can rope off this sections, but how does that help the small business owner selling non essentials.

I'm saying small businesses should adapt and start selling essentials in a small part of their stores. Who cares if it's only 1 or 2 bags of milk. The point is, they can stay open and sell whatever non essential items they want to sell.
Member
Mar 22, 2020
385 posts
250 upvotes
DonkeyKong wrote:
One of the arguments from small business owners is that big box stores are allowed to sell non essentials. Sure big box stores can rope off this sections, but how does that help the small business owner selling non essentials.

I'm saying small businesses should adapt and start selling essentials in a small part of their stores. Who cares if it's only 1 or 2 bags of milk. The point is, they can stay open and sell whatever non essential items they want to sell.
The purpose of the rules is to decrease contacts. Small businesses have made a valid argument that the rules are not being applied fairly.

I would argue that what needs to happen is the government needs to level the playing field by requiring places like Walmart and Costco to do curbside for non essentials like everyone else. That will help limit contacts. Allowing everyone to sell essential items and open stores will just make the situation worse.

If you agree with the rules or not, bending them will just drag the closures on longer.
Deal Guru
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Jan 9, 2011
14740 posts
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Vancouver
Businesses have always tried to skirt all sorts of rules and regulations on technicalities, and usually lose. Remember the dry cleaning business who got into the potato business when GST came in in 1991?
The Gazette; Montreal, Que. 10 Jan 1991: B1
OTTAWA - Etienne Kerr thinks the goods-and-services tax is a hot potato - so he's decided to drop it.

Kerr is selling potatoes in exchange for his dry-cleaning services in a bid to make Finance Minister Michael Wilson eat the GST.

If a cleaning bill is $10, Kerr sells the customer a potato for that amount. The cleaning is "free" - and his clientele saves the 7- per-cent GST because potatoes are non-taxable groceries.

"It hit me that this would be a great way of keeping my prices down," said the 21-year old owner of My Dry Cleaners in downtown Ottawa.

But Revenue Canada spokesman Derek Johnston said the spud scheme won't work.

The GST law includes "anti-avoidance" provisions for cases like Kerr's, and he could face a minimum $1,000 fine, on top of all the tax owing, plus interest.

"He's providing a taxable service and he's going to have to pay it back," Johnston said.

Kerr said Tuesday he'll fight the government and continue his scheme on behalf of his customers.
Illustration

Black & White Photo; CP; This spud's for you, Kerr tells his dry-cleaning customers.

Credit: CP
Deal Addict
Dec 14, 2008
1397 posts
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Toronto
Kiraly wrote: Businesses have always tried to skirt all sorts of rules and regulations on technicalities, and usually lose. Remember the dry cleaning business who got into the potato business when GST came in in 1991?
I see what you're saying, but also different ball game - don't mess with the tax man. Death and taxes.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 19, 2017
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Vancouver
Trying to work around the system (at least for covid) defeats the purpose of the rules put in place that is meant to keep us safe. The point of closing down some small businesses is to limit the number of contact and honestly even if a small business stays open, they will get a lot less foot traffic because most people are going to go out less and avoid trips to non necessities. Example I haven’t being to ebgames, bestbuy, or basically any store that doesn’t sell food since March. The only trips I’ve made is generally to Costco or Walmart and back home (work from home so don’t need to leave for work either).

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who reduced the number of trips they are taking so bottom line, trying to work around the rules won’t actually mean business is back to normal. A better idea would be making a case why the government should help small business more... rather it’s in the form of rent or expense assistance.
Sr. Member
Apr 10, 2019
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Ottawa
Gunnerheadboy wrote: I see what you're saying, but also different ball game - don't mess with the tax man. Death and taxes.
That’s right...you can’t mess with the Federal government but provincial is a different ball game. For many many years (90’s and early 2000’s Ontario stopped issuing liquor licences to bars and nightclubs. You had to be a restaurant to get a liquor licence unless you were geandfathered in. So every new bar that applied said they sold food and kept a single can of beans or a single can of whatever behind the bar. That loophole was kept open for years (it might still be) so i agree with OP if retail SMBs did something like that the provinces head is so far up their own butts that they would likely get away with it until the pandemic goes away.
Deal Addict
Mar 15, 2008
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Canoes4Fun wrote: The purpose of the rules is to decrease contacts. Small businesses have made a valid argument that the rules are not being applied fairly.

I would argue that what needs to happen is the government needs to level the playing field by requiring places like Walmart and Costco to do curbside for non essentials like everyone else. That will help limit contacts. Allowing everyone to sell essential items and open stores will just make the situation worse.

If you agree with the rules or not, bending them will just drag the closures on longer.
Agreed-but this current lockdown is completely pointless. Winter has yet to actually start so what will happen in the next month? 5000 cases-another lockdown? This virus grows stronger indoors.

The first lockdown I accepted as no one was truthfully prepared for this. China hoarded most of the PPE last year. Trump was trying to limit mask production. We had no protection or protocols truthfully set in place. 6 months in I would say at least 70-80% of businesses were in total compliance. This lockdown is completely unnecessary-we will see more non related COVID problems as a result.

This is a serious virus-but the over reaction and constant fear mongering to it won't solve anything. Even once we reach some normalcy in 2022 the after effects may be permanent.

IDK-it feels to me this was done on purpose given as the unofficial start of the holiday season. By no means is herd immunity the solution but like everything in life we must apply common sense. Car accidents still happen but we wear our seat belts and apply defensive driving as much as possible. Doesn't mean everyone should stop driving.
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
25648 posts
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Waterloo, ON
Kiraly wrote: Businesses have always tried to skirt all sorts of rules and regulations on technicalities, and usually lose. Remember the dry cleaning business who got into the potato business when GST came in in 1991?
Going back even further, here in Ontario there was a time when stores had to be closed on Sundays. One exception was pharmacies. They could stay open but all the aisles that sold non-essential stuff had to be cordoned off, much like some are calling for with large stores today. It actually worked back then. Today I'm not so sure the public would stand for it.
veni, vidi, Visa
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kenvin100 wrote: Agreed-but this current lockdown is completely pointless. Winter has yet to actually start so what will happen in the next month? 5000 cases-another lockdown? This virus grows stronger indoors.

The first lockdown I accepted as no one was truthfully prepared for this. China hoarded most of the PPE last year. Trump was trying to limit mask production. We had no protection or protocols truthfully set in place. 6 months in I would say at least 70-80% of businesses were in total compliance. This lockdown is completely unnecessary-we will see more non related COVID problems as a result.

This is a serious virus-but the over reaction and constant fear mongering to it won't solve anything. Even once we reach some normalcy in 2022 the after effects may be permanent.

IDK-it feels to me this was done on purpose given as the unofficial start of the holiday season. By no means is herd immunity the solution but like everything in life we must apply common sense. Car accidents still happen but we wear our seat belts and apply defensive driving as much as possible. Doesn't mean everyone should stop driving.
All of this could be avoided if everyone wore their masks and if the provincial gov't had done ANYTHING in the last 9 months to ramp up testing and track/tracing. If they did, we could identify and target the outbreaks much better.
Maybe people should be required to run the Canada Covid app to go shopping.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
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Mar 15, 2008
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engineered wrote: All of this could be avoided if everyone wore their masks and if the provincial gov't had done ANYTHING in the last 9 months to ramp up testing and track/tracing. If they did, we could identify and target the outbreaks much better.
Maybe people should be required to run the Canada Covid app to go shopping.
That's like saying the world would be a better place if no one was lying. It would be-but just not possible.

Besides, I don't think our filmsy masks would stand a chance in places like India. This virus has more to do with population density if anything as it transfers between humans. Canada has a distinct advantage.

Glad they didn't lock down all of GTA
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
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kenvin100 wrote: That's like saying the world would be a better place if no one was lying. It would be-but just not possible.
No, it's like saying the world would be a better place if fewer people lied and/or they lied less frequently. Perfection is impossible. "Perfect is the enemy of good" enough.

Fortunately with the spread of viruses it's not even necessary. (See e.g. "herd immunity.")
Besides, I don't think our filmsy masks would stand a chance in places like India. This virus has more to do with population density if anything as it transfers between humans. Canada has a distinct advantage.
This isn't India. Moreover people in very densely populated societies like Japan, Hong Kong and China have been wearing those "flimsy" masks for a lot longer than we have. And they have lower infection rates to prove their effectiveness.
veni, vidi, Visa
Sr. Member
Apr 10, 2019
501 posts
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Ottawa
engineered wrote: All of this could be avoided if everyone wore their masks and if the provincial gov't had done ANYTHING in the last 9 months to ramp up testing and track/tracing. If they did, we could identify and target the outbreaks much better.
Maybe people should be required to run the Canada Covid app to go shopping.
Agreed and furthermore they are still clueless (or hiding it from us) how/where/why the virus is actually transmitted in the community. Why don't we have accurate stats of bars where people rub elbows all night vs restaurants where families sit a safe distance away from each other?

Are the large retail stores causing outbreaks (Walmart/Costco > 1000 people in single store) or are the mom and pop butchers, boutiques (< 10 people in store) etc...the source of the spread in the "grocery & retail" category?

They might know and if they do they're hiding this because it doesn't fit their narrative.
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kenvin100 wrote: That's like saying the world would be a better place if no one was lying. It would be-but just not possible.
Besides, I don't think our filmsy masks would stand a chance in places like India. This virus has more to do with population density if anything as it transfers between humans. Canada has a distinct advantage.
Glad they didn't lock down all of GTA
It doesn't have to be 100%, the higher the better, but even 80-90% is extremely helpful.
Masks do work, as show by many other more crowded countries with lower rates, largely due to masks, testing, and track/trace.
GrumpyOne1 wrote: Agreed and furthermore they are still clueless (or hiding it from us) how/where/why the virus is actually transmitted in the community. Why don't we have accurate stats of bars where people rub elbows all night vs restaurants where families sit a safe distance away from each other?
Are the large retail stores causing outbreaks (Walmart/Costco > 1000 people in single store) or are the mom and pop butchers, boutiques (< 10 people in store) etc...the source of the spread in the "grocery & retail" category?
They might know and if they do they're hiding this because it doesn't fit their narrative.
It could be that they don't want to know, so they can set their agenda and close places that suit their friends, but it could also just be incompetence.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

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