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Shun Amazon and Shop Local, Ontario Premier Begs Residents

Ontario Premier Doug Ford pleaded with consumers to “shop local” as the government ordered Toronto into lockdown and tightened Covid-19 restrictions across parts of Canada’s largest province.

“If you’re shopping online, I know it can be easy just to go with Amazon, but please remember that you can buy the exact same product from a local store,” Ford told reporters Friday in Toronto. “Please do your holiday shopping through curbside pickup or online stores, support our restaurants and order takeout.”

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business waded into the fray with comments targeting big box stores that are allowed to stay open as “essential services” while most retailers, including small businesses, are limited to curbside pickup or delivery.

“Today’s restrictions once again create an unfair advantage for big box operators like Walmart and Costco, leaving Main Street retailers to shoulder the burden alone,” CFIB President Dan Kelly said in a statement. “That large department stores can be open while small retailers are forced to close during the busiest season of the year is a direct punch to the gut of independent businesses”

Retailers with locations in malls typically get 40% of their annual revenue during the holiday season and will be at risk if they can’t recoup their losses, according to Diane Brisebois, chief executive officer of Retail Council of Canada, which represents about 45,000 merchants.

“It is going to be extremely challenging for all the retailers to quickly try to adapt their business,” Brisebois said by phone. “We would have preferred more advance notice, especially as we are entering a critical week with Black Friday.”

Restaurants Canada, a group representing thousands of food service businesses across the country, said its members were “surprised” at the decision to close down patio dining in Toronto and Peel, having previously been told it was safe.

“Restaurants that have invested heavily in trying to extend patio season have now seen those investments go up in smoke,” James Rilett, the group’s vice president for central Canada, said by phone.

“The Christmas season is usually the time when restaurants to get some revenue ahead and put some money in the bank to make it through the long winter. Unfortunately, we won’t really have a Christmas season this year between the lockdowns and people not having office parties or family parties.”

— With assistance by Erik Hertzberg

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World News

TSMC Wins Approval From Phoenix for $12 Billion Chip Plant

City officials in Phoenix, Arizona approved a slate of financial incentives and government support for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s planned $12 billion chip plant, a step toward bringing high-tech manufacturing to the U.S. and addressing national security concerns over the industry supply chain.

The city agreed to provide about $200 million to develop roads, sewers and other infrastructure, according to a notice from the city council. At least one additional traffic light will be included for a cost of approximately $500,000. The company is conducting due diligence on several locations in Phoenix with a final decision to be made later.

The decision to locate a plant in Arizona came after the Trump administration warned about the threat inherent in having much of the world’s electronics made outside of the U.S. TSMC, the primary chipmaker for companies like Apple Inc., had negotiated a deal with the administration to create American jobs and produce sensitive components domestically for national security reasons. The Phoenix project is projected to create about 1,900 new jobs over five years, the company said.

“We appreciate the continuous bipartisan support from the U.S. federal, state and city governments,” a spokeswoman for the company said. “It gives TSMC and its supply chain partners the confidence this and other future investments will be successful.”

TSMC has said that it hopes to convince its own suppliers to set up operations in the vicinity of its new fabrication facility over time. Chip giants Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. already operate facilities in the western state and have helped build a vibrant local semiconductor industry over the years.

TSMC had said that subsidies would be critical in setting up a fab in the U.S., given the additional expenses involved. While Phoenix has approved its infrastructure spending, TSMC is still waiting on state and federal subsidies and incentives that could surpass by far the city’s expenditures.

A representative for the city council declined to comment beyond statements in public documents.

“It is remarkable that this came to fruition during a pandemic,” said Mayor Kate Gallego in a statement. “The payoff is huge. TSMC will create 1,900 high-tech jobs and foster thousands more related jobs in the semiconductor supply chain ecosystem.”

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