SASKATOON -- As new COVID-19 infections climb in Saskatoon and provincewide, a local retailer is calling for action from the province and its chief medical health officer to protect the healthcare system and small businesses.

“We can see from neighbouring provinces that case numbers are quickly getting out of control, threatening to force a full lockdown during a critical time of year for small business,” said Peter Garden, owner of Turning the Tide Bookstore in Saskatoon.

“We need decisive action now and have been disappointed that the government has not been willing to do what is necessary."

In the midst of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Turning the Tide moved its business primarily online with curbside pickup and delivery options for customers, Garden said in a news release.

It’s moving once again to this model, he said.

“We are encouraging other businesses, which can, to shift back to curbside pickup and delivery service. We need to show leadership in these difficult times.”

Other businesses such as bars, restaurants and fitness centres that cannot easily adapt to online stores should be getting government support to help them cover daily expenses, Garden said.

Fear over a second wave

Garden said a lot of his concern is coming from the recent spike in case numbers, fearing a second wave way be on its way.

“Seeing the numbers spike, seeing the 308 new cases on Saturday, just thinking we needed to do something, we needed to show some leadership around this,” Garden said. “We know that there’s lots of businesses that can't do this and we’re asking the government to provide support to get through these times.” 

As December approaches and retailers shift to the holiday season, Garden is asking the public to put every dollar possible into supporting local businesses.

“A lot of people are spending money on places like amazon, and I just want to help remind people that there are local business that would really benefit from those dollars,” Garden told CTV Saskatoon.

“A lot of us have online storefronts, a lot of us are doing deliveries and curbside pickup, those dollars go a long way to supporting the local economy and your neighbours.” 

Garden has a family member who is immunocompromised and said that his attitude towards COVID-19 is reflective of his concerns for people facing a similar situation. 

“I think about that family member and I think about what happens to her when the hospital starts to shut down,” Garden said. “What happens to people like her when the emergency rooms and the ICU’s are filling up with COVID patients?”

Garden said that Nov. 16 is the last day his storefront will be open.