Coronavirus: Businesses struggle amidst social-distancing order in Atlantic Canada

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick businesses grapple with province’s coronavirus state of emergency'
New Brunswick businesses grapple with province’s coronavirus state of emergency
WATCH: The New Brunswick state of emergency has made it tough for many of the province’s businesses. As Megan Yamoah reports, stores are making complex choices on whether they will stay open or find a new way of doing business. – Mar 20, 2020

Many companies in Atlantic Canada are heeding the call from their respective government to keeps customers out of their stores.

But it hasn’t been uniform — or easy — situation for business owners.

Employees at the EB Games store in the Halifax Shopping Centre shut the store down after a long line formed for a pair of newly-released games — Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal.

But customers of the EB Games Store in Fredericton were able to pick up online purchases Friday, with the store opening their metallic gates for every customer.

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Both managers declined an interview with Global News, but it illustrates a contrast between what is supposed to be a state of emergency in New Brunswick and a more limited response in Nova Scotia.

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In New Brunswick, all retail outlets except grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, NB Liquor, Cannabis NB, hardware stores and vehicle garages are expected to close as part of the order.

Restaurants have been restricted to takeout service and businesses must go on.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus fund aims to alleviate pressures for workers, businesses'
Coronavirus fund aims to alleviate pressures for workers, businesses

Daniel Boudreau owns Silver Valley Farms near Fredericton.

His normal spot at the Boyce Farmers Market isn’t available after the market closed down as part of the order. Now, he’s taking orders and doing home deliveries.

Customers place their order from a Facebook menu.

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“We might as well take things to people instead of people coming to us,” Boudreau said.

When he does the deliveries he wears protective gear and uses locally-sourced produce.

“People are going to need a service like this so may as well; somebody has got to step up to the plate, so I figured, ‘what the hell,'” Boudreau said.

But he isn’t cashing in on the pandemic. Even as the cost of food is going up, he hasn’t raised his prices.

“Our margins are very thin right now, so by the time we get fuel and cost of delivery and everything in there, there is not a whole lot left at the end of the day so it’s more trying to help out the community more than anything else,” Boudreau said.

In downtown Fredericton, the dining room of J’s Asian Kitchen sits empty despite the restaurant opening only seven months ago.

“It’s getting slow, not busy these days,” said Sung Sil Yang.

The only saving grace for the South Korean restaurant is take-out orders. But they admit those orders are coming in sporadically.

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For many business owners, it’s an emotional and uncertain time as they try to stay afloat.

“It’s hard to describe how I feel,” said Yang.

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