Restaurants Canada appreciates the Ontario government’s plans to re-introduce a COVID-19 small business support grant, but it falls well short of the needs of the industry.
The restriction to businesses with fewer than 100 employees is unfair to restaurants. The restaurant industry is more labour intensive and dependent on part-time employees than any other industry. Many small businesses will not qualify despite size and need.
The grant will help, but it will not provide the support many need to keep their businesses running. We need targeted, significant funding that will keep businesses afloat. There is no reason to delay the money until February. Businesses need to pay bills now.
We still need a ban on the evictions so that restaurants are not locked out of their buildings when the lockdown is over. We have heard nothing on this request, or the need to defer HST remittances to help businesses pay their bills now.
The government needs to sit down with us as soon as possible to find ways to ensure restaurants are able to reopen, and stay open, after January 26th.