OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland has introduced legislation to enact the Tourism and Hospitality Relief Program (THRP), spearheaded by the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) and the Coalition of Hardest-Hit Businesses.
If passed, this bill will deliver targeted support to businesses through the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, which prolongs wage and rent subsidies for hotels at a rate of up to 75 per cent; the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program, which prolongs wage and rent subsidies for other businesses at a rate of up to 50 per cent; the Local Lockdown Program, which provides subsidy support to businesses facing new, temporary lockdowns; and the Canada Recovery Hiring Program, which will be extended until May 7, 2022 for employers with current revenue losses above 10 per cent and an increased subsidy rate to 50 per cent.
“Our immediate focus now is getting the legislation passed before Christmas by working with opposition parties, so there’s no delay in subsidy coverage,” says Susie Grynol, president and CEO of HAC.
Restaurants Canada, on the other hand, is recommending a few changes to the federal-support programs to help foodservice businesses, including:
- An eligibility threshold staring at 10 per cent, instead of 40 per cent, revenue decline for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
- An extension for loan re-payment through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)
- Tax credits or other sources of funding to help with increasing operational costs
“While Restaurants Canada appreciates the inclusion of restaurants and foodservice businesses in the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, reflecting our long-standing recommendation for targeted support for our hardest-hit sector, we are disappointed that the eligibility threshold to access these crucial support funds remains punitively high,” read a Restaurants Canada press release. “We continue to push for these programs to be expanded to ensure struggling foodservice businesses will have enough support to get through the winter.”