Stewart’s Decorating in North Bay, Ontario has been in business since the late 1970s. Unfortunately, this family owned and operated small business took a 30 per cent loss in revenue during the initial COVID-19 shutdown in early spring 2020.
But Alexandra Stewart, whose parents opened the business nearly 50 years ago, won’t tolerate it anymore. In this interview, Alexandra and I discuss how her small business has become a target of law enforcement and health officials. Despite this, Alexandra will continue to accommodate customers who wish to come into the store and is offering completely contactless purchasing for those who are scared.
After recording her interaction with police when they encroached on her open business, Alexandra submitted her story to us through our portal at iWillOpen.
From the beginning, Alexandra has not mandated masks be worn in her store as she, along with one of her employees, is hearing impaired. Alexandra understands firsthand the struggle that the mask mandate poses to certain individuals. She notes that it isn’t up to her to enforce this policy; if people want to wear a mask then they are welcome to do so. But she points out that in her store, she respects exemptions and everyone’s right to choose what they think is best.
She says it’s the right thing to do. Citing that this lockdown is not based on scientific evidence, Alexandra feels that these restrictions are causing more harm than benefit, and that the censorship of any dissenting view is worrisome. The surveillance of her store proves that.
Alexandra is taking a stand in remaining open, feeling as though this has already gone on too long.