With the problematic current state of the economy, it can be understood if business owners look to take advantage of as many ways to generate income as possible. In the case of numerous businesses in Toronto, this included remaining open on Easter Sunday. Risking fines of up to $50,000, many businesses along Queen St. East remained open to ring up sales during the Beaches Easter Parade yesterday.
As reported by Jenny Yuen in the April 13th, 2009 edition of The Toronto Sun in “Stores Defy Holiday Rule”, Ontario amended the Retail Business Holidays Act in 2006 allowing Toronto to decide what businesses could remain open on holidays. Interestingly, as Yuen mentions, Easter Sunday is not even listed as a statutory holiday. Meanwhile, the RBHA still lists it as a holiday where fines may be handed down to businesses that are open on that day.
Thankfully for all business owners who decided to open their doors on Easter Sunday, no fines were delivered and no complaints were made. Yuen notes that this may have been a result of so many bylaw enforcement officers taking the day off to enjoy the holiday.
According to Yuens article, the City of Toronto has voted to have businesses remain open on all holidays except Christmas as a means to both boost tourism and combat the recession. Considering this, it seems unimaginable that a business owner would be fined for simply adhering to what appears to be a logical course of action to battle the struggling economy.
Clearly, consumers are still out and about during holidays. Bars, restaurants and gas stations always remain open and are likely busier as a result of the celebrated day. Perhaps a step in the right direction to turn the economy around is to allow for more holiday shopping.
Visitors of the Beaches Easter Parade were treated to open stores on Sunday making a wide variety of goods available to join the traditional eggs in this years Easter “hunt”. If the tradition continues, and there seems to be no reason to assume otherwise, perhaps the recession will be shorter lived than expected. Now, that would make for happy holidays!