MONTREAL -- Small Montreal retailers are hoping they'll be a priority when the Quebec government announces its plan to reopen the province's economy next week.

Tony Shoes owner Tony Fargnoli said the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult to endure but watching big box stores be allowed to stay open while his doors have been shut has been a hard pill to swallow.

“Why are they necessary and I'm unnecessary? People in this situation, they're going to go where they can buy the product and unfortunately we're not allowed to be open. They're allowed to be open, they see the product there, so it penalizes us,” he said.

Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses spokesperson Gopinath Jeyabalaratnam said many small businesses have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue due to the economic shutdown.

“People are going to the big surface stores, but they aren't safer because they are the only ones that are open,” he said. “In terms of public health, I'm not sure if it's the right decision to keep those sections open.”