Bayfield business leader worried latest shutdown could be final straw

Bayfield in Huron County. (Photo by Bob Montgomery)

The President of the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce says the stay-at-home order that went into affect Thursday could be the final blow for some business people in the Bayfield area.

Leanne Kavanagh says she’s received letters from several of them, particularly people in the hospitality industry.

“It’s at the point of desperation. It’s heartbreaking to read what they’ve gone through, it’s heartbreaking to read about the lack of Provincial support that actually is there. I think there’s a miss-conception that anyone that’s been closed has all this support and it’s going to get them through,” said Kavanagh.

Kavanagh says that’s not the reality they’re facing.

In the past, many of the restaurants had to throw out thousands of dollars worth of food they had ordered. That was a big issue during the Christmas season because of the December lockdown.

“Going into December, when we had that shutdown at Christmas, I think that was an emotional blow as well as a financial blow because of all of the food that the restaurants had brought in,” added Kavanagh.

Kavanagh says on top of fighting COVID, many of the business people in the Bayfield area are dealing with a financial crisis as well as mental health.

Kavanagh says if the restrictions are lifted by the beginning of May it will help some people get through the tourism season, but for others, it could be too late.