A bed and breakfast in Essex County, Ontario, has changed the way it does business over the last three years of the pandemic, trying to stay open and thrive in the struggling tourism sector.
Ben Leblanc-Beaudoin is the owner of Comber’s Iron Kettle. He’s abandoned the bed-and-breakfast model he operated before the pandemic in favor of specialty food boutiques.
“This is very successful in the sense that we don’t throw food away and we can pay our bills,” he said. “It’s certainly a lot of work, and the economic climate keeps costs down all the time, but it’s something he has better control over than catering for 300 weddings and lodging guests like he used to. .”
Leblanc-Beaudoin says his new focus will allow him to rely on local customers rather than tourists, which could be a model for success.
Ontario’s tourism industry is not expected to fully recover from the pandemic until 2025, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and industry said in a joint report, adding tax incentives, cannabis tourism and staff recruitment. Provides recommendations such as affordable housing to help
The OCC and Ontario Tourism Industry Association report released Tuesday said tourism in the province generated an average of 64% of the revenue seen in 2019, with 7 in 10 surviving in debt. reported that
Leblanc-Boudoin said he was happy to leave the room empty for now.
“What we want is to create a steady stream of people through our doors, and tourism isn’t going to bring us that. , shouldn’t it be open? And since March 2020, the answer every day has been ‘no’.”
He’s thinking about reopening his room, but not for a few more years.
struggles of small businesses
Like many other business owners in the region, Leblanc-Beaudoin took to social media to talk about the struggles and successes of owning a small business.
Some owners told CBC News that rising costs are squeezing profits and making it difficult to stay in business.
Windsor favorites Bad Witch Bakery and Robbie’s Gourmet Sausage Company announced last week that they will be closing.
Adriano Ciotori, founder of Windsor Eats, which showcases Windsor Essex restaurants and bars through its website and food tours, said there are more closures to come.
“I know a lot of companies that are in the planning stages of announcing closures,” Ciotoli told CBC News last week.
“Windsor Eats has been in business for over 18 years and this is probably the worst year,” said Ciotoli.