People wear masks as they walk past closed storefronts downtown as COVID-19 continues to take an economic toll Thursday, March 18, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

People wear masks as they walk past closed storefronts downtown as COVID-19 continues to take an economic toll Thursday, March 18, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Hardest hit businesses call for extension of federal wage, rent subsidies

Just 12 per cent said they have sufficient internal resources to stay afloat

Canadian businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic are calling on the federal government to extend emergency relief programs beyond the current deadline of June 5.

The Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses is calling for the federal wage subsidy and the federal rent subsidy programs to be continued until the end of the year.

The coalition, which represents hotel, tourism, arts, culture and hospitality industries, is backing up its call with the results of a survey it conducted among its members earlier this month.

Almost 6,000 businesses responded to the survey and fully 60 per cent of them said they’ll go under without sustained access to federal support programs.

Only 14 per cent said they have access to sufficient financing from regular sources to survive.

And just 12 per cent said they have sufficient internal resources to stay afloat.

“Our businesses were the first hit by the pandemic, the hardest hit by the closures and will be the last to recover,” Beth Potter, president of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, said in a statement issued by the coalition.

“With extended support, we can thrive and survive. Without it, Canada’s tourism, culture and hospitality industries will be devastated for a generation.

The coalition says its member businesses employed more than two million Canadians before the pandemic hit a year ago. They are primarily small- and medium-sized businesses whose employees are predominantly young, female, Indigenous and new Canadians — the populations hardest hit by the pandemic.

Susie Grynol, president of the Hotel Association of Canada, said the wage and rent subsidies are “a lifeline” for businesses whose financial recovery has been slowed by continuing public health measures, including ongoing bans on mass gatherings.

Continuation of the programs “would be the difference between a vibrant tourism and cultural industry in Canada and the loss of these critical regional employers and a far slower return to full employment,” Grynol said in the statement.

ALSO READ: Waits for bike repairs stretch months amid Canada parts shortage due to COVID

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronaviruseconomy

Just Posted

The cover of the newly redesigned Beaver Lodge Forest Lands activity guide. Photo courtesy Greenways Land Trust
Greenways redesigns Beaver Lodge activity guide

Guide has helped teach students for over a decade

Undersea cables are towed out into position. Photo Baylink Networks.
SRD looks at last-mile agreements for Connected Coast project

District to borrow up to $12 million — pending electoral approval

Crews work on construction of the new composting facility at the Campbell River landfill. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Environment group wishes Comox Strathcona compost site was in a better spot

Province has guidelines on siting, but they are not legal requirements

COVID-19 virus (file photo).
COVID-19 exposures reported for two Campbell River schools

Campbell River Christian School and Ecole des Deux Mondes are the schools involved

The seasonal Search and Rescue program will run between May to September. ( File photo/Canadian Coast Guard)
Coast Guard Inshore Rescue Program starting up next week

Teams have protocols in place to ensure COVID-19 safety

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Could Victoria skull fragment bring closure to an Island missing persons mystery?

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read