OTTAWA — The Coalition of Hardest-Hit Businesses is calling on the Federal Government to extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) in the upcoming Federal Budget, set to be tabled April 19.

According to a survey conducted by the coalition, 60 per cent of Canada’s hardest-hit businesses will not survive if CEWS and CERS are not extended beyond the June 5 deadline to the end of the year.

“Our businesses were the first hit by the pandemic, the hardest hit by closures and will be the last to recover,” says Beth Potter, president and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). “With extended support, we can thrive and survive. Without it, Canada’s tourism, culture and hospitality industries will be devastated for a generation.”

“For businesses that find their recovery impaired by the lingering effects of mass-gathering bans and other public-health policies, the CEWS and CERS programs will be a lifeline. Their continuation would make the difference between a vibrant tourism and cultural industry in Canada and a breakdown of the critical infrastructure that supports the travel-and-tourism sector,” says Susie Grynol, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada.

“We hope that by the summer we will continue to see an easing of restrictions and a modest return of leisure travel. However, the decisions to cancel conventions for this fall have already been made and business travel will not recover in the short term, adds Potter. “Where the recovery is quick, these businesses will not qualify for government support. But, if there are protracted restrictions from COVID, we will need to know this support is there.”

The coalition also stresses the critical importance of efforts to safely stimulate domestic tourism, lower interprovincial travel barriers and re-open international borders.

The Coalition of Hardest-Hit Businesses is an industry-driven group of more than 100 stakeholders representing a variety of sectors, including tourism, travel, arts and culture, events and festivals, accommodation and hospitality.


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