PART I: Businesses impacted by shutdowns

Local restaurant owner: ‘This is so bad for us’

If local businesses weren’t already devastated by the four-week provincial shutdowns announced on Dec. 8, 2020, the two-week extension until Jan. 21 is sure to be a huge blow, both financially and mentally.

“This is so bad for us,” said Ishara Dilan, who owns Ranchers Castle Steak House with his wife Ana Morar.

READ MORE: Kenney extends COVID-19 restrictions until Jan. 21

Dilan adds that as a restaurant with a more sit-down menu, they’re in a really bad situation.

Although they are still taking orders for delivery and pick up, steak isn’t something people tend to think of ordering and eating at home, like pizza or other more traditional take out foods, he says.

Dilan also says eating at home is just not the same experience as dining out at a family restaurant like Ranchers.

And what money they’re able to bring in from the orders they are receiving isn’t enough to support them.

Before the shutdowns, they could bring in $2,600 a day, and now they aren’t even making $400 a day, he says.

Considering their currently reduced income, and the fact that government supports are based on a percentage of their income from the same month last year, and January is already a typically slow time for the restaurant, they are hard-pressed to pay their rent.

Because of being closed, they are working alone without any staff, as well as having their three-month-old daughter to care for.

At the other three Rancher’s locations, it’s the same story — only the partner-owners are working.

“We can’t afford staff at all right now.”

It’s not a question if they can hold on for another two weeks until they hope to open fully for customers again — they can’t afford to close permanently as they have to make a living.

“They’re making decisions without thinking,” said Dilan.

He says there’s no point in making restaurants like his close, that were following all of the guidelines and keeping customers physically distanced, when people are still able to pack into malls.

“If you close restaurants, you have to close everything or else there’s no point; the numbers won’t go down.”

He’s also sympathetic to hair salons, and says they should be able to be open for single appointments.

“It makes no sense … there’s no traffic there.”

As an alterations shop, Amber Yuzwak of Amber’s Alterations says her business hasn’t been affected much by the restrictions.

December and January are also typically slow months anyways, as people tend to spend money on gifts for others instead of things for themselves, she says.

Retails businesses are limited to 15 per cent capacity, but she usually only has one or two people in the shop at a time anyways.

Although it’s been a bit of a whirlwind opening a physical storefront in a pandemic year, her business has actually done better this year than before.

She used to do custom pieces, such as dance costumes, from her home, but moved into her shop in February, 2020, right before COVID-19 hit.

However, despite the pandemic, switching to a storefront location and alterations and mending, her business has grown.

And as dance recitals were cancelled along with everything else, changing the bread-and-butter of her business came at the right time.

“It was interestingly, not a terrible thing,” she said.

That’s not to say it hasn’t been an emotional ride, however.

Restrictions had been relaxed for a time in the fall, until the end of November when cases began to rise and public health orders and restrictions began to tighten up again.

“I felt like things were almost back to normal … I was really disappointed.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BusinessGovernment ShutdownPonoka

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the province still hopes to bring the hospitalization number down before relaxing restrictions. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
14 new deaths, 366 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta

Province nearing 100K COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

(Photo submitted)
OUR COMMUNITY: Central Alberta researchers are innovators in agricultural sciences

Jessica Sperber of Ponoka, and David MacTaggart of Lacombe awarded prestigious scholarship

(Photo submitted)
Ponoka RCMP receives new police puppy trainee

The Ponoka RCMP detachment has said goodbye to their police dog trainee… Continue reading

Young hockey players were out on Bentley Tuesday for a march to a support a return to sports. (Photo courtesy of Bobby McKinlay)
(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

In this undated image made from a video taken by the Duke of Sussex and posted on @SaveChildrenUK by the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, shows the Duchess of Sussex reading the book “Duck! Rabbit!” to their son Archie who celebrates his first birthday on Wednesday May 6, 2020. The Canadian Paediatric Society is reminding families that the process of raising a reader starts from birth. (Duke of Sussex/@SaveChildrenUK)
Canadian Paediatric Society says raising a reader starts from birth

CPS says literacy is one of the strongest predictors of lifelong health outcomes

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Minister Carla Qualtrough responds to a question during a news conference Thursday August 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Easing rules for parental benefits created inequities among parents, documents say

Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough’s office says the government will make any necessary changes

People walk along a pedestrianized zone of Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Monday, May 18, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Newly released statistics point to a major drop in police-recorded crime during the first eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Crime down in first 8 months of pandemic, but mental health calls rise: StatCan

The agency says violent crimes such as assault dropped significantly

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Art Kempf, originally from the Stettler area but now living in Lacombe, is pictured here with his late wife Lillian. Art’s 100th birthday is coming up on Feb. 22nd.
photo submitted
Former Stettler area resident Art Kempf will be celebrating a very special day next month

Kempf, now a Lacombe resident, marks his 100th birthday on Feb. 22nd

Most Read