Quinte West stores staying closed on holidays
Retail businesses across Quinte West will stay closed on statutory holidays.
Council voted unanimously against allowing retail businesses to open on Victoria Day, Canada Day and Labour Day Monday night.
The Quinte West Chamber of Commerce submitted a letter to council Jan. 26, 2017, asking that an exemption by-law be enacted to create more availability of local products and services on holidays when the Quinte region sees increased tourism.
A survey by the chamber, in conjunction with the Trenton Downtown Business Improvement Area and the municipality, shows that 60 per cent of the 50 Quinte West businesses surveyed feel businesses should be able to choose whether they want to open on holidays.
Manager Suzanne Andrews said the by-law has been re-visited three times in her 11 years at the chamber.
“Councillor Duncan Armstrong mentioned going through the downtown and a lot of the downtown retailers were not in support of it and there was nobody that came to speak in support of the idea. So I think at this point in time, council has made the right decision.”
She added that there are about 1,000 businesses across sectors and roughly 430 chamber members.
“Certainly surrounding us – Brighton, Prince Edward County and Kingston – there’s a lot of municipalities around us that have allowed their retailers to be open, so we’re one of the last few left that haven’t gone in this direction,” she said.
“But from the comments that were said tonight, it’s very clear that Quinte West council really prides itself on being able to support families and the employees here. I think they’ve made the decision in their best interest.”
Several local business owners and community members spoke out against the change during a public meeting Monday night, saying holidays are meant to be spent with family and not at work, especially in the year of Canada’s 150th birthday.
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