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Longtime businesses in Edmonton forced to permanently close due to COVID-19

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WATCH: After decades on Edmonton's Whyte Avenue, Army and Navy is closing for good. Meanwhile, blocks away, a family-run restaurant that had been open for more that 30 years has also permanently closed its doors. Chris Chacon reports – May 10, 2020

After decades on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue, Army and Navy closed temporarily in March because of public health restrictions.

Over the weekend, the CEO announced that none of the company’s stores will reopen.

“It’s quite sad to see a staple of Whyte Ave. close all of a sudden. I’m sure there will be others like it because of COVID but it’s unfortunate to see it go,” resident Matthew Karpman said Sunday.

READ MORE: Small businesses faced with longer closure in Edmonton due to COVID-19

“It’s a sad day to walk by and see it all boarded up,” said Judy Seaby, who used to shop there.

The closure is having an immediate impact on a street that is used to seeing a steady flow of traffic.

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“It looks a little lonely, like it looks like the community was vibrant before,” resident Albina Karpman said.

COVID-19 is also impacting another landmark businesses, Doan’s Vietnamese Restaurant, which had been in operation for more than 30 years.

“We closed the doors March 31. That was our last day. In March, COVID had all hit us and our economy so we were told by the province to close our dining room and only open for takeout and delivery,” said co-owner Loan Nguyen.

The limited options for service, coupled with a delay in funding assistance was too much to keep the doors open.

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“We feel like the government took a little bit longer than we anticipated to help small businesses… We think things would have been different… I think we’d still be open,” Nguyen said.

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While closing the business has been difficult for the Nguyens, they are grateful for being able to spend more time with their family.

READ MORE: Army and Navy, 101-year-old Canadian discount retailer, to close permanently under COVID-19

They said they are also overwhelmed by all the kind messages they have received from the community.

“We really want to thank Edmonton and everyone that’s been here to support us through the years,” Jackson Nguyen said.

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