Winner – New Business of the Year

Acu Total Health closes from pandemic economic pressures

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The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed another small business in Kawartha Lakes, with Acu Total Health in Lindsay closing just a year-and-a-half after opening.

Lori Mitchell, owner and acupuncturist, had just rebranded her business last summer, when it was formerly known as Kawartha Restorative Acupuncture.

Lori Mitchell, during her re-branding last summer. Photo: Sienna Frost.

Her services included traditional Chinese acupuncture, manual therapy and functional movement, cupping and Gua Sha.

She was also the only local practitioner in her discipline who treated degenerative eye disease.

“This was so unexpected – to be working one day and hold all these expectations and plans…and then it’s gone. It’s sad. It’s an emotional experience,” she says.

Her business was in the Queen’s Square Plaza at 84 Russell St. W. The Advocate also observed that the adjacent business, Picture Frames, also seemed to be shuttered.

Mitchell says she understands why her business had to close once the pandemic began, given she works up close and personal with clients in a hands-on way.

She doesn’t know yet if she will try again with her business in some other way in the future, given that she just closed her business on the last day of April.

“I love what I do. But everything has happened so recently, so I just can’t say right now.”

She says she’s “just disappointed that things worked out the way they did.”

Mitchell’s business isn’t the only one that has closed. Castle Keep, a personal support worker-focused business, closed April 17, its 33 team members out of work with the decade-old health care business.

Fenelon Falls recently lost Dolce due to financial pressures from the pandemic, a bakery that was located on Francis Street in the village near CIBC.

While there are many federal programs set up to help individuals and small businesses, not all of them have been used as much as others.

The Globe and Mail reported today that entrepreneurs across Canada “are being hit by eviction warnings and default notices as both they and their landlords say Ottawa’s small-business rent-relief program is so flawed and unclear that many property owners have no plans to apply.”

Roderick Benns is the publisher of The Lindsay Advocate. He is the author of 'Basic Income: How a Canadian Movement Could Change the World,' and is also on the communications team of the Basic Income Canada Network. An award-winning author and journalist who grew up in Lindsay, Roderick has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Canada, Senators, and Mayors across Canada. He also wrote and published a series of books for youth about Canada's Prime Ministers as teens.

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