Dear Mr. Ford:
Amidst the spread of COVID-19, I urge our public officials to consider locally owned home improvement stores to be “essential” and allow these business owners the option to stay open as a public service. As President of Hardlines, the News and Information Service for the Retail Home improvement Industry, I feel strongly that I must speak out.
Serving communities across Canada, these stores provide much-needed services to homeowners, renters and contractors, providing them with the products and support required to keep their homes and communities safe, secure and functioning.
As people are being required to stay at home, the ability to keep these homes functioning has never been greater. The products carried by independent home improvement retailers range from cleaning supplies and tools to batteries and security products, all of which can be essential to maintaining a safe and secure living environment. In many communities, the local hardware store represents the only outlet where consumers have access to essential supplies for cleaning, disinfecting, repairing and maintaining their residences. Home improvement stores have a proven track record of providing essential supplies and support to communities in emergency situations such as hurricanes, floods and fires.
I urge local, provincial and federal government offices to classify Canadian hardware and home improvement retailers as “essential” retail services that can remain open to support their communities during these difficult times. Thank you for this consideration during this difficult time.
President, Hardlines Inc.
Managing Director, NRHA Canada