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Hi there,

With the majority of foodservice establishments across the country now temporarily shut down or restricted to takeout and delivery, cash flow concerns are top of mind.

We recognize that many of you have already depleted your reserve funds, or soon will, and won’t be able to keep paying rent and other bills.

Restaurants Canada continues to be at the table, working with all levels of government to come up with urgently needed solutions.

Restaurants need evictions off the table

On Monday, Restaurants Canada released a statement calling on all provincial governments to take evictions and property seizures off the table until solutions are developed to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 meet rent obligations.

Most foodservice operators are not going to have the cash flow necessary to pay rent on April 1, and deferring payments will only cause longer-term problems: Once the threat of COVID-19 is behind us, re-opening the doors again to diners will be difficult if many months of missed rent are expected to be paid all at once.

An injunction on evictions would allow time for governments to bring stakeholders to the table to develop immediate and long-term solutions that will work for all parties involved.

What You Need to Know About Restaurant Leases and Legalities

If you have a rent deadline coming up and are wondering what to do, we encourage you to learn about your legal rights and obligations and how to take steps to protect your business in MENU Magazine.

We're gaining ground on a number of fronts

Restaurants Canada continues to be at the table, working with all levels of government toward strengthening support in the following areas, including rent relief, so that restaurants can survive and recover from the unprecedented challenges they’re facing:

  • Loans and mortgages
  • Rent
  • Taxes
  • Labour

Read the statement we released last week to learn more about our recommendations.

Restaurants Canada has sent letters to Canada's finance minister, and all premiers, with details on our recommendations specific to their jurisdictions.

Restaurants Canada has also joined forces with the Hotel Association of Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada to propose stronger relief measures to help businesses across our sectors survive the impacts of COVID-19. Our joint proposal has been submitted to Canada's Ministry of Finance and is now under review. You can help ensure our asks are heard loud and clear by adding your signature to the letter and sharing it with your Member of Parliament.

A number of relief measures have been announced so far related to our recommendations.

At the federal level: Emergency legislation has now been enacted, putting Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan into action.

Now included in the plan is a new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (replacing the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit). This new benefit provides a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to:

  • Workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • Working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • Workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • Wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for EI.

Temporary foreign workers who do not qualify for EI, but who meet any of the above criteria, are also eligible for this benefit.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has continued to emphasize that this support package will evolve, as needed, to help individuals and businesses cope with COVID-19, and that nothing is off the table moving forward.

Across the country: Restaurants Canada has regional representatives, engaging with governments across the country to ensure the concerns of the foodservice community are addressed as part of evolving responses to COVID-19. They are continuing to gain ground day-by-day around recommendations to preserve cash flow for restaurants and other small businesses.

Follow them on Twitter for updates: 

  • @RestaurantsEast - Luc Erjavec is Restaurants Canada Vice President for Atlantic Canada
  • @QCRestaurants - David Lefebvre is Restaurants Canada Vice President for Federal and Quebec
  • @RestaurantsONMB - James Rilett is Restaurants Canada Vice President for Ontario and Manitoba
  • @RestaurantsWest - Mark von Schellwitz is Restaurants Canada Vice President for Western Canada

We encourage you to keep checking our COVID-19 Relief Measures Tracker for an overview of all the relief measures announced to date across the country that might be relevant to your operations.

Prevention measures continuing to evolve across the country

Ontario and Quebec have now ordered the shut down of all non-essential businesses. Foodservice businesses in these provinces may still continue to operate takeout and delivery services.

We encourage you to continue checking our COVID-19 Prevention Measures Tracker to stay up-to-date on measures that might impact operations in your region.

Further resources and information

We encourage you to continue visiting our dedicated COVID-19 web page where we will continue to share information and resources relevant to our industry.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Shanna Munro
Restaurants Canada
President & CEO | Présidente et cheffe de la direction

SMunro@restaurantscanada.org