While street-facing stores can welcome back customers starting today, shops inside of malls will have to wait a few more weeks for step two of Ontario's reopening plan.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is pushing the Ford government to reconsider the restrictions they've placed on retail businesses inside of malls. According to the CFIB, 66% of Ontario's business owners believe reopening isn't happening fast enough.

The Retail Council of Canada is also urging the Ontario government to reconsider. "Positivity rates are the lowest they've been in nine months, vaccination rates are high and hospital ICU numbers are steadily falling," said the RCC in a statement, adding that they hope to see stores within malls included in the province's reopening plans.

"Our government is not interested in doing the heavy lifting. They refuse to regulate, monitor and hold irresponsible retailers accountable for their actions. The government has instead rolled out blanket restrictions that are arbitrary and unfair to small businesses inside of shopping centres," said the vice president of Over the Rainbow, Daniel Carman, to Retail Insider.

"We should be given an even playing field instead of having to remain closed for at least another 21 days. Why are small businesses in malls being punished because of one social media clip? The government needs to do better than this."

In April, a social media post went viral of what appeared to be large crowds at Yorkdale Mall during Ontario's stay-at-home order.

In step one, essential retail can open at 25% capacity, and non-essential stores that are not inside malls can open at 15% capacity.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.