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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A grass fire west of Williams Lake, seen here Tuesday, is considered to be being held by members of the BC Wildfire Service. (Photo submitted)
An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

A grass fire sparked by embers from a fire pit quickly spread to the home of Cliff and Lydia Trudeau. (Barb Trudeau photo)
Fire destroys home of elderly couple at Cuisson Lake, near McLeese Lake

Fast-moving grass fire burns house to the ground

The public is being asked to use caution when doing backyard burning in the Cariboo Fire Centre. (File photo)
Caution urged with outdoor burning says Cariboo Fire Centre

Anyone conducting burning must ensure adequate resources are on hand to stop fire from spreading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

A still from the video taken of a violent arrest on May 30, 2020 in downtown Kelowna. (File)
Kelowna Mountie charged with assault for caught-on-camera violent arrest

Const. Siggy Pietrzak was filmed punching a suspected impaired driver at least 10 times during an arrest

Most Read