HALIFAX — Premier Stephen McNeil announced new measures last week to help restaurant owners struggling with the economic fallout of COVID-19.
The government is encouraging retail and commercial landlords to defer lease payments for the next three months for businesses that had to close directly due to the public health order. Landlords who participate by granting a three-month deferral and register by April 3 will be able to claim losses of up to $5,000 per month, if the renting business does not continue operating. Landlords are not permitted to change locks or seize property of businesses that cannot pay rent, if the business closed directly because of COVID-19 public-health orders.
McNeil also announced restaurants will be allowed to include alcohol purchases with takeout and delivery orders as long as the alcohol cost is not more than three times the value of food ordered, effective March 30. This move came shortly after Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that province would allow alcohol to be ordered with takeout and delivery purchases from licensed restaurants and bars.
“[The foodservice industry is] hurting so badly,” Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference March 26. “They’re the ones who requested home delivery. I think it’s a good idea so people don’t have to leave their homes.”