A lot of non-essential businesses are being forced to close their doors during the COVID-19 outbreak to help stop the spread of the virus, but essential businesses, like grocery stores and food services, need to stay open to allow access to essential products.

These essential businesses are taking many different precautions to protect their staff and the public from the spread of COVID-19. Plexiglass dividers have been installed at tills to have a barrier between customers and staff. Stores are also limiting the number of customers allowed inside the store and implementing safe distancing between customers in line ups at checkouts.

Most businesses that remain open during this time are starting to compensate their staff with increased wages to show the appreciation they have for their dedication to continue their service to their communities.

Sobeys announced that all of its employees will be receiving an additional $50 a week, regardless of the number of hours worked. With an added $2 per hour premium for employees who work more than 20 hours a week.

Co-op announced on Wednesday that all of its store-team hourly workers including grocery, gas stations, liquor, cannabis, pharmacy and home health care will be receiving an additional $2.50 an hour, this will be retroactive to March 8 and effective until at least May 2.

Walmart Canada and Dollarama employees will also see an increase in their pay along with many other stores deemed as an essential service that are joining in to increase pay for their employees.

Loblaw’s is temporarily increasing compensation for their store and distribution centre colleagues by approximately 15 per cent retroactive to March 8.

Grocery chain Metro is boosting its employee salaries, offering an additional $2 per hour to workers in stores and distribution centres, retroactive from March 8 until May 2.

T&T Supermarket has implemented a $2 hourly “allowance” for its staff.

Premier Jason Kenney said the Alberta government is working diligently on a list of what constitutes essential services and critical infrastructure.