Thursday, 17 September 2020 16:20

Thursday, Sept. 17/20 Update

Good Afternoon All,

Premier Ford has just completed his daily briefing providing the following information:
  1. Reduction of social gathering numbers for Toronto, Ottawa and Peel regions.  Please note that these reductions and associated fines do NOT apply to businesses.
    As of tomorrow, Friday, September 18/20:
    Indoor gatherings are reduced to 10 people including those who live in your household.
    Outdoor gatherings are reduced to 25 people.
    New fines: if you host a gathering and exceed the above limits the fine is $10,000 for the host and $750.00 charged to each guest. 
  2. Moratorium on Commercial Evictions has been extended to the end of October 2020.
Other Updates:
Our Federal MP Julie Dabrusin has asked the BIAs within her constituency to provide information on what our businesses need in terms of financial support programs moving into the Fall and Winter seasons.  October 1st is coming up fast and the CECRA program is now done and the Wage Subsidy program is beginning its reduced payment schedule.  We are pushing to get new or revised programs in place as close to the start of October as possible.  Below is the feedback that we provided to MP Dabrusin yesterday:
The following are the programs that businesses would most need to survive through to the Spring of 2021:
  1. 1.  A rent subsidy program that is made available directly to the business owners.  It's the business owners who should be able to control and make decisions that will best work for them.  We all know that many businesses weren't able to access the old CECRA program either because their landlords wouldn't get on board or the business didn't have a 75% loss of revenue.  We ask the Federal government to create a new rent subsidy program or grant program - perhaps the framework could be if a business shows a revenue loss of 50% or less then 25% of their rent is subsidized; and, for those who show a loss in the range of 75% the subsidy is 50%.
  2. 2. Our members need the Wage Subsidy program to continue through to the Spring of 2021.  At the moment the current program is heading into phased decreases: for Periods 5 & 6 the subsidy will go down to 60% and for Period 9 it goes down to 25% - Period 9 is November.  If the government could launch a revised Wage Subsidy program before we get to November that would be most valuable.  If the program could either stay at 75% or even go down slightly to 60% that would provide security to businesses that they can keep their staff employed through the upcoming cold weather season.
  3. 3. Our members are concerned about the timing of any new programs.  It's Sept. 16 and only a few weeks until the first of October.  Without any new programs there is a huge amount of fear and worry amongst business owners.  Added to this is the increasing daily covid counts especially for Toronto - today's count is 315.  If the new programs could be created, announced and rolled out in October and guaranteed through to the end of April 2021 that would provide a huge amount of relief.
Of secondary concern to our members is:
  1. Loans and tax deferrals - we've heard from our members that they use these as a last resort if they can't apply for anything else.  They hesitate to go with loans and tax deferrals because it adds to their already mounting debt and they worry about how or when they would be able to manage the payments associated with the loans and deferrals.
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