Good Afternoon All,
Today is "A Day of Action To Save Small Business" across Canada - fittingly it is also the day that we are able to release the results from our second survey. As you all know this survey was sent to commercial tenants and landlords by all BIAs across the city. I would like to thank our Board Treasurer, Philip Kocev (iPro Realty) for once again taking the lead in managing this survey. These surveys take a lot of time and work to create, circulate and then co-ordinate the results and key messages. Philip has gone above and beyond in donating his time and expertise to this endeavour.
This morning Councillor Fletcher held a virtual media conference to release the results. She was joined by our MPP Peter Tabuns, Philip Kocev, and 2 of our BIA business members - Jennifer Jones (Joy of Dance Centre) and Ginger Robertson (The Edmund Burke and Off The Hook). Thank you to all for your time and help with this media conference.
The focus of this survey was to get feedback from commercial tenants and landlords on the CECRA program and where everyone is at in terms of their finances and prospects for the coming months. The survey results for both tenants and landlords and an executive summary are attached to this email. I encourage you all to read through the material.
The information gathered is invaluable and I urge our MP Julie Dabrusin to share these results with Minister Ng and Minister Morneau as quickly as possible. The CECRA program was announced back on April 24. Today is May 12th and there have been no updates on the program, it isn't available yet for people to apply; there is incredible confusion about the program and, as you will see from the survey feedback, there are components that need to be revised in order to better meet the needs of commercial tenants and landlords. Businesses and landlords across Canada can't wait any longer for help. I emailed a staffer at Minister Ng's office a week ago with a question about whether or not HST needed to be paid on the 50% portion that the government will be contributing - still haven't received an answer. That seemed like a fairly simple question that shouldn't take over a week to answer. This is just an example of the lack of information/communication that surrounds this program.
For our MPP Peter Tabuns, we are urging our Provincial NDP party to push the Premier on enacting a temporary moratorium on commercial evictions. May 15th is this coming Friday and many businesses will be in a difficult position. Until the CECRA program is sorted out and available our businesses need some time to get the financial assistance so urgently needed.
As I said at the top of this email, today is a Day of Action To Save Small Business - we need our Federal and Provincial governments to act and to act swiftly. We've all done the work to provide the feedback; now it's the governments' turn to get to work on all of this.