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Big Changes for Small Businesses

Hair care professional, Peace Adutitate discusses the changes Covid-19 and construction has brought to her long-standing business

For what seems like endless months, businesses along Eglinton St W have been subjected to heavy construction for Toronto’s new LRT.

Shop owners along the strip have witnessed their neighbours closing up, and with COVID-19 preventing businesses from regulating as usual, the additional stress is making things harder for the already targeted community of Little Jamaica.

Just ask Peace Adutitate, owner and operator of New International Braiders. Adutitate has been specializing in braiding and styling women’s hair in the area for more than fifteen years and has bore witness to the changes the construction on this street has made.

“It’s been very hard,” said Adutitate. “Because of the construction on the roadside, there’s no people walking on that side and there’s no parking. It’s really affecting our business.”

Adutitate says that with the lack of accessibility to her storefront, she’s also lacking access to new clients.

“The people who know us for a long time, they want to come,” she said. “But when it comes to new clients, we don’t get [them] because we don’t get more walkins. We are keeping the business for our old customers who are still supporting us.”

Although Adutitate is looking forward to reopening when restrictions ease up, she misses the routine at work.

“When you go to work, you do your own business, make your own money, you don’t want to depend on anybody so it’s really affecting us and making us slow. But no matter how it is, I’m still keeping my work going on, and that makes me proud.”

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