Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Available Expert - Small businesses struggle as big box stores remain open

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Queen's University economist Christopher Cotton is available to comment on the latest lockdown in the Toronto and Peel region. Announced on Monday the lockdown forced independent retailers, bars and restaurants to close their doors to in-person shopping while some big box-store chains are allowed to remain open. Chains including Walmart and Costco, which are exempt from closing because they sell groceries, are allowed to stay open with new 50-per-cent capacity limits.

"The lockdown policies in Ontario and other provinces have led to significant declines in employment and GDP," says Dr. Cotton. "Our research estimates that Canada experienced a temporary decline in hours worked of more than 30 per cent in the April and May of this year. These costs have disproportionately affected small businesses. Small shops and specialty retailers are required to shutdown or focus on curb side pickup, while larger stores such as Walmart and Costco, that sell a combination of 'essential' and 'non-essential' items remain open. Walmart, other big-box retailers, and online retailers have seen sales and profits increase, even as small, locally owned shops shut down, in some cases permanently."

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) or Julie Brown  (343-363-2763 or julie.brown@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada. 

Follow Queen’s News and Media Services on Twitter: http://twitter.com/QueensuMedia. 

Related Experts