Rabb siblings Claire and Mitchell ready to lend a hand at Fonthill's Bloomin' Crazy Garden Centre. BOB LOBLAW

So are hardware stores and other retailers, with conditions

[Slideshow below]

The Ontario government is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores.

As early as Friday, May 8, garden centres and nurseries will be able to open for in-store payment and purchases, operating under the same guidelines as grocery stores and pharmacies. Hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as Saturday, May 9.

On Monday, May 11, retail stores with a street entrance can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery, in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance Document for Essential Workplaces and occupational health and safety requirements, according to a statement issued by the province on Wednesday, May 6.

“Business owners should review the health and safety guidelines developed by the province and its health and safety association partners,” read the statement.

In addition to easing restrictions on retail, the government is also expanding “essential construction” to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects such as apartments and condominiums to begin, and existing above-grade projects to continue.

“Businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines, such as promoting physical distancing and frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces, installing physical barriers, staggering shifts, and using contactless payment options to stop the spread of COVID-19,” read the statement.

“Small businesses across Ontario have done their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. “I encourage all business owners to learn the new health and safety guidelines, so when it comes time to reopen you will be prepared to hit the ground running and provide the services we all count on every day.”

Owner Gary Rabb opened his Bloomin’ Crazy Garden Centre, on Highway 20 in Fonthill, last weekend for curbside delivery, then yesterday for carefully monitored customer selection of plants in the centre’s greenhouses.

“We disinfect the carts after each use,” said Rabb, who has posted signs throughout the premises reminding customers to maintain six feet of separation from each other.

Rabb said that business was good with last weekend’s beautiful weather.

“People are ready to get out, ready to garden,” said Rabb. “I think we’ve all had enough of staying inside at this point.”

The business is a family affair, with wife Cheryl and kids Claire and Mitchell pitching in as needed.

“This isn’t a family outing, though,” cautioned Rabb. “We ask that only adults come through to find what they need. We’re also delivering mulch and fertilizer on request.”

Rabb says that by Victoria Day weekend he will be fully stocked.


Bloomin’ Crazy slideshow





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