Ontario Celebrates Inaugural Convenience Store Week

Ontario Celebrates Inaugural

Convenience Store Week

In May 2021, Willowdale MPP Stan Cho’s private member’s bill received Royal Assent proclaiming the week before Labour Day each year as Ontario Convenience Store Week.

To celebrate the first-ever Convenience Store Week in Ontario, from August 28th until September 4th, the province is encouraging everyone to visit a local convenience store and show their appreciation for all the essential workers who have continued to serve communities throughout the pandemic.

“Like many new Koreans living in Canada, my family found their start in a convenience store,” said MPP Stan Cho. “Growing up, I watched them work around the clock, seven days a week, with little to no vacation days to provide for me and my siblings. They were dedicated to remaining open from early morning to late at night, to continue serving customers who had no other retail options and keep them connected to essential goods.”

Bill 262, Convenience Store Week Act, 2021 recognizes the essential nature of convenience stores and their roles in providing fresh food, PPE and other daily necessities.  It celebrates the tireless work of small business owners and employees who dedicate themselves to their communities, and the significant contributions convenience stores have on Ontario’s economy.

“Convenience store workers are everyday heroes. Throughout this pandemic, they have continued to keep shelves stocked with essential goods, remain open around the clock, and ensure their stores are safe and clean for people in their communities. We are grateful for the dedication and work ethic of these hard-working frontline workers,” said the Hon. Nina Tangri, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. 

“Convenience stores are more than places to stop by — they’re the lifeblood of their communities,” said MPP Stan Cho. “Workers in C-Stores are little league coaches, neighbourhood watches, an ear that will listen, and during this pandemic, providers of essential goods and PPE. I encourage the people of Ontario: Stop by a nearby corner store and thank them for everything they do.”

As you participate in this year’s Convenience Store Week, please remember to follow health and safety guidelines, including measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as physical distancing and wearing a mask when inside the stores.

Share pictures of your visits to local convenience stores using the #Ontarioconveniencestoreweek #Convenienceweek and #OntarioCstores hashtags.

QUICK FACTS

  • Over 6,000 convenience stores currently operate in Ontario.
  • Over 99% of these convenience stores are small businesses employing less than 100 people, including 62% that are micro businesses employing 1-4 workers.
  • Convenience Store Week Act, 2021 proclaims the seven-day period in each year ending the Saturday immediately before Labour Day as Convenience Store Week.

QUOTES

"OCSA members are honoured to work with Ontario MPP's to make 'Convenience Week' all about family run stores and their contributions to every community. Please stop in a local family store for a photo, they would be thrilled" said Dave Bryans, CEO, Ontario Convenience Stores Association (OCSA).

“We, members of the OKBA, thank Premier Ford and MPP Stan Cho for recognizing convenience store workers as essential front line workers and creating Convenience Store week for the first time in Ontario's history. We appreciate your recognition and we will continue to serve all communities, big or small, and help make Ontario a better place to live for everyone” said Kenny Shim, Chair, Ontario Korean Businessmen's Association (OKBA).

“COVID-19 has underscored the essential and convenient role of our stores. This week we’ll not only celebrate the important role of the convenience industry but we’ll recognize the hard work of these frontline heroes" said Anne Kothawala, President and CEO, Convenience Industry Council of Canada (CICC).