LE VOYAGEUR (Sudbury) – Two Sudbury restaurant and bar owners, Kyle Marcus and Chris Vitiello, are complaining about the exaggerated increase in their insurance premiums. The Ford government has not properly assessed the situation in the North, they believe.
Philippe Mathieu – The Traveler
In Ontario, most cases of COVID-19 are in the southern part of the province, such as in the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa. However, this does not seem to be taken into consideration by the insurance companies that insure businesses in the North.
According to a report by Globe and Mail, restaurants and bars in Ontario are facing an increase in insurance premiums that can exceed 300%. They also run the risk of losing their policy when they already have difficulty staying open.
Kyle Marcus, owner of The Alibi Room bar in downtown Sudbury, recently renegotiated his business insurance. He says he feels cheated, because the insurer told him they wouldn’t do it unless there was a 120% increase.
“I was told that I was lucky to have insurance, that I am one of the lucky ones. I have spoken to my friends who have been in the insurance business for some time. I showed them the insurance quote and they said ‘you have a good price’, ”he said.
“For people like me, there is no more money. I have to eat too. [Les assureurs] have set a precedent that brings questions. Will the price ever drop? Will there be a day when I will be able to comfortably pay for my insurance? ”He asks himself.
Chris Vitiello, owner of Cousin Vinny’s restaurants in Hanmer and Chelmsford, experienced the same thing. He was initially offered a new insurance premium of over 500% of what he was paying. After a bit of research and negotiation, he still pays double what he paid before.
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Changing the rules
That being said, insurance premiums aren’t the only concerns for homeowners. As of September 26, bars and restaurants across Ontario must stop selling alcohol at 11 p.m. and close at midnight. The consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited between midnight and 9 a.m. and establishments may not reopen before 5 a.m.
The new regulations will hit hard bars that almost exclusively sell alcohol as a source of income.
Chris Vitiello considers himself lucky to be able to sell take out and delivery meals. That’s the majority of his business right now. “My bar sales are relatively non-existent,” he says.
Kyle Marcus knows the winter will be tough, but he has high hopes. “We have incredible and loyal customers. I have to thank the community for their incredible support throughout this pandemic. I must also thank my owner for his support and understanding, ”he says.
What surprises business leaders is the fact that the Ford government has not considered a regional approach to the new regulations.
“I know we need to be safe, but there are very few cases of COVID-19 [à Sudbury]. Why do we have to pay the consequences of the actions of the 20-29 age group that went to bars in the most affected areas of the province? It doesn’t make sense, ”says Marcus.
Mr. Vitiello believes the provincial government must act quickly to minimize the number of business bankruptcies across the province and should particularly target businesses that sell almost exclusively alcohol.
“Personally, I think there should be a program for bars, specifically to pay their rent and fixed costs, so that they can float during the pandemic rather than bankrupt them,” he suggests. .