The federal government needs to maintain its current levels of support for foodservice businesses still operating under ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
That’s the message from restaurant customers, industry professionals and suppliers who are working together as part of a Restaurant Survival Coalition. And they are demanding an exemption from the scheduled phase-out of the rent and wage subsidies for the highly affected foodservice sector.
Restaurants Canada is advocating for this as part of a critically needed Restaurant Survival Support Package.
Todd Barclay, president and CEO of Restaurants Canada, said that: “Even with most provinces moving forward with reopening plans, restaurants across the country will still be operating at reduced capacity for the next few months.”
Barclay continued: “This is not the time to start reeling in the lifeline. Most restaurants have been losing money or barely scraping by nearly every day of the pandemic and will need at least a year to return to some semblance of normal. Half our industry will face risk of closure if government support is scaled back too soon.”
According to survey data from Restaurants Canada:
- 8 out of 10 restaurants have been operating at a loss or barely scraping by throughout the entire pandemic.
- Nearly half (45%) of all foodservice businesses have been consistently losing money for more than a year.
If the rent and wage subsidies are scaled back starting July 4, most restaurants will struggle to keep paying staff and suppliers and might have to consider closing down for good.
Fighting back against this unwanted reality, Canadians are calling on their elected officials to help keep their local restaurants in the picture: Hundreds of postcards are currently on their way to members of Parliament across the country, and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland in Ottawa, demanding an immediate change of plans.
Anyone who wants to join the Restaurant Survival Coalition and help save local foodservice businesses can visit www.SupportRestaurants.ca to get started by sending a postcard of their own.
Go to www.restaurantscanada.org for more.