Prof. Timothy Dewhirst of U of G’s Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies contributed a commentary to the Toronto Star in which he examined the shifting definition of “essential businesses” in Ontario during the pandemic lockdowns.
In Ontario, what is deemed an essential service or business has changed over time, he wrote, noting Ontario’s decision to allow liquor stores and so-called “big-box stores” to remain open is now facing scrutiny for “gaining an unfair competitive advantage over small retailers.”
What constitutes an essential business is “variable and increasingly contested,” he wrote.
Dewhirst is senior research fellow in marketing and public policy in the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics. His research expertise includes sports, arts and entertainment marketing.