Timmins businesses reopen, welcome customers back

·2 min read

Timmins businesses are welcoming customers back as stay-at-home orders have lifted for the Porcupine Health Unit region today.

Feb. 16, Timmins entered the Orange - Restrict level of Ontario's COVID-19 Response Framework. Most businesses are allowed to reopen with COVID-19 restrictions in place.

Mike Young, the owner of Altered Reality, said it feels “fantastic” to open the store again and many people were “relieved” to shop inside.

“It’s nice to be able to see faces again. I’ve spent a lot of time in the store alone, organizing and cleaning, and it’s just nice to be able to talk to someone besides myself,” he said laughing.

According to the provincial limitations, stores are limited to 25 per cent of capacity. For Young’s store, that means 15 customers are allowed inside at a time.

“The wish list to me would be to balance the competition in the sense that you’ve got a place like Walmart. You can still buy underwear and socks, yet the clothing store downtown can’t open,” he said. “To me, that doesn’t make sense.”

Young said the pandemic’s implications have been negative as the business is losing thousands of dollars when it’s closed.

Linda Pran, the owner of QT Nails Timmins, said the recent shutdown has made her depressed as her business is losing clients. Today, she’s had two customers and no other bookings for the rest of the week.

Her clientele is mostly older adults as young people go to the mall or other nail salons, Pran said. As the only person running the businesses, she said she wants to hire more people but the salon doesn’t have enough clients for employees.

Pran, who’s been in business for 18 years, said she’s tried applying for government funding but didn't qualify.

“We need to survive. With the lockdown, I’m so worried, nervous because I don’t have the money to pay the mortgage and I don’t have money for food,” she said. “I’m lucky I have a friend support me, (who) lent me money. If not, I’d die. The government didn’t give me any money.”

The Timmins Square also opened its doors Tuesday with each store having individual hours of operation.

Imagine Cinemas Cinema 6 will be opening Friday, Feb. 19. Moviegoers are encouraged to buy tickets online as only 50 people will be allowed inside the building.

Mount Jamieson Resort is reopening Friday for skiing. The tube park is also open Saturday and time slots must be prebooked.

For more on what the Orange level means for Timmins, read the story here.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com