DARTMOUTH, N.S. -- Café owner Ian Macleod has a message for the Premier of Nova Scotia.

"Send the help we really need," said Macleod, who has been in business for 18 months and has struggled through pandemic restrictions that have crushed his bottom line.

"Each wave has made things a little bit worse," said Macleod.

Macleod's cafe has received government financial assistance.

"I got the 75 per cent rent subsidy," said Macleod. "So I was on the hook for 25, the landlord was on the hook for 25, and the government did 50."

Macleod has also twice received government aid, which covered 15 percent of his February sales, which he pointed out was his slowest month.

"Each time it's been around $800," said Macleod who when he watched Tuesday's news conference announcing another $12 million dollars in provincial assistance, his reaction was:

"Where is the rest of it?"

Tim Rissesco from the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission is worried some businesses owners will not survive a third COVID-19 shutdown.

"We want to get the message to government that this third wave is hitting small business really hard," said Rissesco. "It's desperate."

At the municipal level, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage wants to find creative ways to offer business support.

"We all want to help those businesses that are struggling," said Savage.

As for the people living in the HRM, spared of any financial hardship, Mayor Savage has a plea:

"Get off your wallets and get out there," said Savage. "Support these businesses that have been really been hurt during the pandemic."

Savage wants government to play a role supporting businesses but he also said consumers supporting local businesses is crucial.