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The Weather Network
Nov. 26, 2020 | Thursday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter: Community centre hours likely to hurt cafe, seniors

Dear editor:

There are very few places where seniors can enjoy an indoor coffee, muffin, sandwich etc. and escape the isolation of our homes.

The Sweets & Swirls Cafe in the NOTL Community Centre is one such location.

Yet, our town, in its wisdom, by the decision to now close the community centre on Saturdays and Sundays effectively closes the cafe for Saturday walk-in customers.  

Like my wife and I, many regulars and others were advised the cafe is now closed on Saturdays for the reason above.

Clearly little thought or common sense was exercised in this decision and the negative revenue impact, in the midst of the COVID-19  crisis, will have on this popular well-managed cafe. It is only pouring salt on the wound and adds to the stress of fighting, like thousands of others, to stay afloat and survive.

Additionally, a small conversational Spanish class, coffee club and others who support the cafe have been prevented from meeting – these are critical to this small business's survival.  

The closure also appears to be an 11th-hour knee-jerk decision communicated on Friday. 

The town is the landlord here and the common area operates, and is supported by, the cafe owners, in full compliance with the provincial and regional guidelines.

The visiting public are not the anti-mask, COVID-spreader crowd – this is not the Toronto red zone – we are from the "respect for the law, follow the rules generation." All are extra-cautious, being in the higher risk category.

Please reopen the cafe and common area for business on Saturday. in addition, revisit the Spanish class and coffee group etc.

Monitor the situation for compliance and then, and only then, take appropriate corrective action as necessary.  

Please support our local businesses and the mental health of our seniors, as they savour their precious time out for coffee with friends.

Do not repeat the error of the past by driving another cafe (Second Cup) out of this location. We need a local approach to our COVID action guidelines – not a one size fits all.

Samuel Young