OTTAWA — The federal government announced further targeted support for the hardest-hit businesses, proposing changes to the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program and the Canada Recovery Hiring Program.
Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program
The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program will provide support through the wage and rent subsidy, to eligible organizations in the industry, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, festivals and travel agencies. Under this program, the maximum subsidy rate is 75 per cent from Oct. 24, 2021 to Mar. 12, 2022.
Lockdown Support would also be available at the current fixed rate of 25 per cent and pro-rated based on the number of days a particular location was affected by a lockdown.
Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program
Hardest-hit businesses that don’t qualify for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program will qualify for rent and wage support under this program if they meet two requirements: an average monthly revenue reduction of at least 50 per cent over the first 13 qualifying periods for the CEWS program and a current-month revenue loss of at least 50 per cent.
Under this program, the maximum rate for the wage and rent subsidies would be 50 per cent from Oct. 24, 2021 to Mar. 12, 2022. Lockdown Support would also be available at the current fixed rate of 25 per cent.
Canada Recovery Hiring Program
Currently, the Canada Recovery Hiring Program is set to expire on Nov. 30, 2021, however, the government is proposing to update the subsidy rate for eligible employers to 50 per cent until May. 7, 2022, with authority for further extension through regulations until July. 2, 2022.
Additional supports outlined by the government include the event of a public-health lockdown, where affected organizations, regardless of sector, would only need to demonstrate a current-month decline as well as increasing the monthly cap on eligible expenses under the CERS program from $300,000 to $1 million starting Oct. 24, 2021.
“Prior to the election, we staged a significant lobby effort to get the government to commit to a survival program which would include targeted support for our industry until May,” said Susie Grynol, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada in a press release. “The Liberal Party pledged this on day one of the campaign, and today the government announced it would become a reality.”
But Todd Barclay, president and CEO, Restaurants Canada says while it’s a positive sign that restaurants have been included in the new targeted approach, “we are disappointed that the eligibility requirements will leave so many operators out in the cold this winter. Our industry deserves support programs that will help us survive this ongoing crisis.”