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

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Bandstra Transportation photo)
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Most Read