Saturday, 21 March 2020 14:17

Need YOUR Help!

Good Afternoon All,

 
First, I hope that everyone is managing as best they can during this extremely difficult time. 
 
For the past few days your Board of Directors and myself have been working with our representatives from our 3 levels of government and TABIA (Toronto Association of BIAs).  The emergency efforts that the governments have announced are a start but there are things that need to be quickly addressed.  It is my strong belief that we need to look after the immediate needs of our independent businesses and we need to be looking at how these measures will also assist with recovery and reopening of businesses once we get to the other side.
 
There are two critical issues that we've been pushing:
1. The new EI benefits for workers who aren't normally eligible.  The Federal government will pass this initiative this coming Tuesday.  We've been urging our Federal MP, Julie Dabrusin, to see that while we're waiting for Tuesday's approval someone in the government is working on the on-line technology for this new benefit.  We are urging that as soon as it is approved people need to be able to go on-line and get their applications in.  My concern is that the benefit will be passed on Tuesday and then it will be another couple of weeks to get it up and running.  That's really not good enough.  The government has also offered a 10% wage subsidy - again, that is not nearly high enough to make a difference.  In following what other countries are doing - they are implementing much higher wage subsidies.
2. Many of you have reached out to me about rent relief.  Yesterday the City approved the delay of property tax and utility payments for 60 days.  That's helpful but we've again been pushing all 3 levels of government to see what can be done regarding rent relief - landlords need the rent to keep their properties going but our businesses need to know that there is a safety net for them for the next while if their finances don't go far enough to cover monthly rent.  The government is offering small business loans but there's still interest attached.  Again, we need immediate measures to provide assistance but ones that don't hamper recovery.
 
What we are asking of you:
Your Board and I are a persistent voice and a loud one (those of you who know me know that I can be loud) - but we need multiple voices - we need your voices.  Here are the email addresses for the people we're asking you to reach out to.  You can add all 4 email addresses to the top of your email so it's one email to all of them.
Federal: Julie Dabrusin
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Provincial: Peter Tabuns
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City: Paula Fletcher
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TABIA: John Kiru
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Thank you for adding your voice to ours - every voice will help.
 
Before I end this email.... our local shelter, Kennedy House, reached out to me today.  You may remember that our BIA hosted their Coldest Night of The Year fundraising walk back in February.  Kennedy House provides shelter for 40 kids and that includes 3 meals a day.  They are currently struggling with food supply.  If any of you have a way of assisting them please just let me know and I will put you in touch with them.  
 
Please take good care,
Susan

 

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