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Business owners figuring out how to enforce mask bylaw

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EDMONTON —
The City of Edmonton has passed a bylaw making masks mandatory inside public places, but critics are wondering how business owners will enforce the law.

Many local businesses have some sort of mask rules in place already. Brittany White is a fitness instructor. Her studio, which has been open since mid-June, already requires instructors to wear masks.

“Sometimes it’s just kind of hard to understand what we’re saying, but you just gotta really annunciate,” she said. “Honestly it’s not a big difference.”

Starting Saturday, clients will have to mask up too.

Exercise is one of the activities exempt from the bylaw city council passed Wednesday, but in most businesses, buses, and common areas, customers will have to cover up, or face a potential $100 fine.

Kris Armitage of Kent of Inglewood even provides customers with coverings if they don’t bring their own. He considers the bylaw a backup.

“If you’re in the store, you’re wearing a mask,” said he said.

It’s one thing for small businesses to keep tabs on customers, but critics say it could be much harder to police mask-use in big busy buildings like grocery stores.

One independent grocer who spoke to CTV News Edmonton said his customers will expect him to confront rule breakers, which could cause a scene. He’s working on getting de-escalation training for his staff.

City peace officers have the authority to hand out hundred dollar tickets, but it will be a last resort.

“It’s not going to be punitive, it’s going to be supportive and helpful in terms of building the awareness that this is a requirement,” said Adam Laughlin, Edmonton’s Interim City Manager.

Most business owners said it’s just one more item on a long list of public health precautions – we all have to get used to.  

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Jeremy Thompson

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SHA warns of possible COVID exposure at Regina business

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The Saskatchewan Health Authority is alerting individuals of a possibility of COVID-19 transmission through a local business in Regina and is urging Saskatchewan residents to follow public health measures and personal safety precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, including physical distancing of two metres, frequent hand hygiene and self-isolating if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19.

Although the risk of transmission to the general public is presently considered low, the health authority is advising members of the public who visited the following location to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from the last date they visited the store:

• August 5, Superstore, north location on Rochdale Blvd from approximately 6-7 p.m.

When an individual tests positive for COVID-19, a contact investigation immediately follows where public health reaches out to anyone who may be linked to that individual with COVID-19 and provide them with information on testing and self-isolation.

If health officials are uncertain that they have identified all known close contacts, they may take further action to notify the community about possible locations where individuals with COVID-19 may have attended while infectious.



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Bradford Skin Clinic celebrates 10 years in business

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Owner Mia Liefso has always been passionate about medical aesthetics and skin therapy

Owner Mia Liefso celebrates 10 years since opening the Bradford Skin Clinic, and she’s busier than ever. 

The med spa offers a variety of services including laser hair removal, medical grade facial peels, micro-needling, skin tag removals, botox, injectable fillers, photo rejuvenation, and acne treatments. 

“We specialize in acne for not only teens but adults too,” explains Liefso. 

Since reopening the clinic after being closed due to COVID-19, the clinic has been busy, averaging 25 new patients a week, up from four new clients a month. 

“We’re grateful for all the referrals we receive on Google,” shares Liefso, adding that the clinic and med spa has up to 175 reviews with a 4.9 star rating. “Reviews happen from consistency.”.

The clinic shares rental space and utilities with their neighbours, The Pink Closet fashion boutique, allowing both businesses to keep building operating costs low. Their landlord also helped them with rent subsidy during the pandemic. 

“We’re really happy that everyone is coming back [despite the pandemic],” expresses Liefso. “We’re super busy.”

The clinic can accommodate one to two clients at a time, and a waiver form must be signed upon entry with a mandatory mask policy (with exception to facial treatment procedures).  

“We used to have peel parties – mother-daughter mask treatments – but not anymore,” laments Liefso. “We’re usually a pretty jovial place, but lately it’s been more serious.”

Liefso attended The Champlain Institute in Toronto and studied physics and aesthetics and skin therapy in Ottawa. She has been practicing medical aesthetics for 14 years. 

“All our products are medical grade,” explains Liefso, using new laser technology. 

The med spa will be celebrating its 10th year anniversary this October, and plans to have a socially-distanced celebration. 

“I’m a total nerd, but I love what I do!” 

For more information about the Bradford Skin Clinic’s services or to book an appointment, visit: www.bradfordskinclinic.com



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Le Chateau identifies business challenges

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Le Chateau (POSTMEDIA NETWORK FILE PHOTO)

Fashion chain Le Chateau faces several hurdles in the coming year to keep its doors open.

One of the the Montreal-based company’s 124 stores is at Station Mall.

Getting necessary funding, availability of adequate credit under its revolving credit facility and subordinated term loan and Le Chateau’s ability “to negotiate additional favorable amendments to lease rents and other obligations with major landlords” are some of its challenges.

First-quarter sales fell 51 per cent from $36.1 million in 2019 to $17.7 million. Gross profit dropped from $22.3 million to $10.4 million. Stores were closed for weeks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Le Chateau cut its store count from 243 to 126 since 2015 in a shift to e-commerce.

We now believe we have the right balance between our digital and physical presence, which positions us well in a post COVID-19 worlkd,” said Le Chateau’s executive team in a statement.

Several stores at Station Mall, including DAVIDsTEA and Alia n TanJay, are closing. The downtown mall lost its anchors, Sears and Walmart, in 2017 and 2019.

Station Mall is owned by Algoma Central Corp. The company, based in St. Catharines, Ont., also owns the Station 49 apartment building on St. Mary’s River Drive.

Algoma Central reported a loss of $32,000 on the two properties during the first six months of 2020. That compares to a profit of $151,000 in the first half of 2019. Revenue fell from $4.9 million to $4.4 million from January to June 2020.

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