Restaurants Matter

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The restaurant and bar industry in Canada is one of the countries largest GDP generators, with over 85b a year in revenue.  The restaurant industry provides employment for 1.2 million Canadian workers, skilled and unskilled alike.  For many employees, the restaurant industry provides an entry point to the workforce, as well as an opportunity to develop a career with little or no education.  In 2019 20% of the workforce between 15-24 were employed in the restaurant and hospitality sector, allowing this income to be reinvested in their communities. 

The restaurant industry also provides a direct and measurable impact on supply chain health, including farmers, vineyards, breweries, independent retailers that all contribute to the success of our restaurants and hotels.  In Canada in 2019 over 300,000 jobs in these sectors were directly supported by the 22 million guests that visit Canadian restaurants every day.  

Restaurants not only serve their communities but belong to them.  Often they are the first industry to donate time, money, food and effort to support charitable causes and initiatives in their towns, cities, and neighborhoods.  We now turn the Federal and Provincial governments to help this vital industry survive this crisis and provide the tools to rebuild once it is safe to do so.  

This petition is demanding a call to action for those in the restaurant and hospitality industry to ask for this vital support from the Federal and Provincial government, for the hospitality sector to be eligible for many of the same relief programs that have been provided and afforded to other industries with far greater income security.  

Restaurants, bars and hotels across Canada, many of which are independent, have closed their doors in the interest of public health.  While we agree that this drastic step is necessary, it has resulted in the closure of more than 70,000 establishments and a loss of income for over a million employees.  We are calling on the Federal and Provincial government to implement financial subsidy initiatives and cost support programs for these operators and their staff to ensure that one of Canada’s largest public service sectors remains intact. 

1. We ask that the government assists with the continuation of extended health and prescription benefit premiums for businesses to continue to provide essential services and coverage to our employees during the closure.  

2. We ask for a reduction of interest rates to 3% on loans for restaurants to continue to remain viable without a revenue stream. 

3. Those who own or work in restaurants know how important cash flow is to remain viable, and fixed costs are difficult at the best of times. We ask that landlords who own restaurants are eligible for mortgage deferral with no additional interest for a 6-month period.  We also ask that landlords, with restaurants as tenants, are also eligible for mortgage relief if they pass these savings onto the restaurants' owners. 

4. We ask for assistance in supply chain relief, allowing the independent suppliers, vendors, and retailers who supply the hospitality industry and are caught between lack of demand, and accounts without cash flow, to be brought to zero balance - providing an invaluable cash injection for continued production and employment for their staff. 

5. We ask for access to a no-interest “reopen” loan to assist in restocking fridges, dry goods and rehiring costs.