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Restaurants Canada is continuing to work with all levels of government
Restaurants Canada is continuing to work with all levels of government to ensure the concerns of the foodservice community are being addressed as part of the ongoing response to COVID-19.
We are also continuing to monitor the latest developments across the country so that we can provide you with the most relevant information for your operations.
Here’s what you need to know right now:
Recommendations to Canada’s Finance Minister
Finance Minister Bill Morneau will be unveiling a federal stimulus package tomorrow that will include new measures to support individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Restaurants Canada has sent a letter to the finance minister recommending that the federal government take the following actions:
Give workers immediate access to employment insurance (EI) in the case of temporary layoffs due to business declines from COVID-19, in addition to eligibility during self-quarantine. Fast-tracking access to these benefits will be essential to many Canadians. Giving consideration to improving the rate of EI coverage is also recommended.
Provide businesses with access to loans at favourable lending rates, if any, with an initial payment-free period while impacted by COVID-19. In the short term, access to capital to make payroll and meet other obligations is essential for businesses. They are in a difficult situation and are looking for liquidity. Deferrals are not the ideal solution, as they may contribute to long-term challenges.
Take actions to ease the burden on small-to-medium-sized businesses related to sales taxes and payroll taxes. Even prior to this crisis, foodservice operators have been managing their businesses under tight cash flows, with an average net profit of less than 5 per cent. At this stage, with little to no revenue, their survival is at risk and businesses are facing permanent closure. Action is needed to ensure small-to-medium-sized business operations will be able to remain viable.
Encourage banks and landlords to provide relief to businesses during this crisis. Banks may provide a waiver of interest and principal payments to foodservice operators, while landlords may provide arrangements that offer temporary relief from rent obligations in the form of a change of all rent obligations to a mandatory commercially reasonable percentage of rent.
Canadian health authorities have raised their assessment of the risk levelassociated with COVID-19 in Canada. In response, various measures are being recommended, and in some cases enforced, to support prevention efforts across the country.
Below is an overview of measures that might impact your operations.
Recommending everyone avoid non-essential gatherings and practice social distancing.
Public health emergency declared. Businesses with liquor primary licences, such as bars, pubs and night clubs, must close as they are considered unable to adequately meet the requirements of social distancing. Restaurants and cafes that cannot maintain social distancing of one to two metres between patrons will need to move to take-out and delivery models.
Public state of health emergency declared. Albertans are now prohibited from visiting a number of recreational establishments, including bars and nightclubs. Sit-down restaurants, pubs, delis and coffee shops are now limited to a maximum of 50 people or 50% of their maximum capacity, whichever is lower.
Recreational establishments must close, including all bars. Restaurants may remain open, but must reduce their capacity by 50% and eliminate buffets. Take-out and delivery services are encouraged to remain operational.
New Brunswickers encouraged to stay home and go out only for essentials. Bars and other drinking establishments must close. Restaurants may remain open, but must reduce their capacity by 50% and eliminate buffets and self-serve areas. Take-out and delivery options are permitted.