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Small businesses grappling with Omicron, after two years of closures and restrictions

HALIFAX — Small business owners say the Omicron variant and new government restrictions are putting their operations in peril once more.
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HALIFAX — Small business owners say the Omicron variant and new government restrictions are putting their operations in peril once more.

They say capacity limits and increasing cases of COVID-19 are pushing down revenues and forcing many businesses to consider closures and layoffs.

One of the owners of the Old Triangle alehouse chain in the Maritimes says his business lost hundreds of holiday reservations and Christmas party bookings when governments moved to restrict restaurant capacity.

Brendan Doherty says the restrictions and rise of Omicron created a depressing situation for his business, which was already closed for about 12 months over the last two years.

Now he is grappling with at least half of his kitchen staff under isolation and he doesn't expect them to have test results until after Christmas.

Doherty worries how he will keep the business going if more people test positive and if the government doesn't step in to offer monetary relief like it did during previous waves of the health crisis.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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