Impending new COVID-19 restrictions for Toronto retailers threaten to push more businesses over the edge

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Paolo Iacullo sighs when asked how business has been going lately.

“I’ve sold three suits since May. When are people going to wear a suit? There are no weddings and everyone’s on Zoom calls,” said Iacullo, whose small shop Capo Salerno specializes in Italian menswear.

Since May, when retailers were allowed to reopen, Iacullo and his wife Nadine Devereux-Iacullo have scrupulously followed public health guidelines, limiting the number of people in their Yonge-Eglinton shop, drawing spots on the floor to ensure customers space themselves out, and giving customers the option of video fittings and curbside pickup.

News that the City of Toronto is planning more restrictions on retailers because of COVID-19 didn’t shock Iacullo, but he acknowledged it won’t be easy to deal with. Exact details of the restrictions aren’t yet known, but Mayor John Tory publicly mentioned the possibility of more capacity restrictions, as Toronto and Ontario deal with rapidly-rising COVID numbers.