By Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative
COVID-19 isn’t stopping new businesses from opening up.
On Friday, a dozen residents lined up outside Savemax Liquidation Centre on James Street, patiently waiting for the doors to open on its first official day.
Chatham-Kent’s mayor, the community’s councillors, Carmen McGregor and Aaron Hall, and the director of Economic Development, Stuart McFadden, were also there to mark the occasion with a ribbon cutting.
“The local community is very supportive, from the very first day,” said owner Usman Dogar. “Everybody has been so excited since I came here and everybody loves it. So I’m looking forward to a good future here.”
Dogar and his family hail from Toronto, but wanted to expand their businesses into the Chatham-Kent after testing out several other successful stores in other small communities.
Savemax is a general store with products from clothes to furniture and food at a competitive price.
In line with COVID-19 restrictions, only 50 people are allowed in at a time.
Dogar said opening up a store during the economic uncertainties caused by the pandemic was challenging but he did not want to sit around and wait on the virus’ schedule.
“It’s a hard one but we have no choice. We can’t sit and wait until it’s over. This is the time and we have to start from somewhere. We have to stick with it and keep going,” he said.