IMPORTANT: Message From President & CEO, Kelly Higginson

Published June 23, 2023

The summer season is usually a time of excitement and optimism for our industry, but this year is different. Canadian restaurateurs are facing unprecedented challenges, with mounting financial pressures threatening the survival of small and family-run businesses across the country.

The aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have left many struggling to stay afloat. Operational costs, labour shortages, pandemic debt, and bankruptcies are all on the rise, with 50% of Canadian foodservice operators currently operating at a loss or just breaking even – compared to just 12% pre-pandemic.

To make matters worse, the deadline for repayment of CEBA loans is quickly approaching. Many business owners are finding themselves barely able to make ends meet, much less repay tens of thousands of dollars in pandemic loans. Nearly 20% of restaurants with outstanding loans will be unable to repay in part or in full by the December 31st deadline, leaving them at risk of bankruptcy by the year’s end.

We cannot let this happen. That’s why Restaurants Canada re-launched the #OnTheirPlate campaign to call for an extension of the CEBA loan repayment deadline beyond December 31st.

We are urgently calling on the Federal Government to:

  • Extend the CEBA loan repayment deadline by 36 months, and;
  • Implement a scale-down model on the forgivable portion of the loans, ensuring that the government can recoup as many taxpayer funds as possible.

Restaurants need a chance to get back on their feet. They are not looking for a free pass.

We need your help to make this happen. We are urging you to join our campaign by calling your local MP and demanding action on CEBA loans today! The survival of our industry depends on it.

If you are interested in additional background material on the CEBA loans and Restaurant Canada’s advocacy position, check out my personal message to the Federal Government, our Press Release, or download this year’s Pre-Budget submission.

Thank you for your continued support as a member of Restaurants Canada.

Act now to save our industry.

Sincerely,

Kelly

Kelly Higginson
Restaurants Canada Digital

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