Save small Businesses by asking landlords to waive gross rent during Covid-19

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As you all know, small businesses in Canada are the backbone of our communities, creating jobs, generating tax revenue and providing valuable services.

I am asking all small business owners and residents in Canada to join me as I am calling on our federal government, all provincial governments and mayors of all cities and towns to take the action necessary to save our small businesses.

Due to Covid-19, all levels of governments forced us to shut down most of the non-essential businesses. Of the few remaining, consumer activity and sales have fallen dramatically. Social distancing efforts, while necessary, have harmed small businesses.

This impact of the Covid-19 on locally owned businesses is very severe. It will take ALL levels of our government to pitch in and do their part to save locally owned businesses from going under – along with the jobs that they create.

Most of small businesses can’t afford to pay their rent, employees, and suppliers. Some of the food businesses had to give away their fresh meat, vegetables, and dairy products or in the worse cases, they had to throw them in the garbage.

Meanwhile, most of the landlords of these small businesses refused to take a loss on their part. Some commercial landlords offered a couple of months deferred payments on rent which is not enough to save our businesses. Meanwhile, most small businesses still must carry insurance, cable, phone, internet, rental equipment, hydro, water, gas bills, POS systems, sales software costs, and the lists go on and on without any or little income.

I realized that the Federal government offered interest-free loans, wages subsidies, and deferred taxes. Municipal governments also offered deferred Taxes but those are not enough to save our small businesses. Landlords should step in and do their part by reducing or waiving their net rent for businesses having no income or little income.

No one really knows how long it will take for our businesses to go back to normal as over 1 million people have lost their jobs. Even after the Covid-19 crisis is over, people are not going to rush out and spend money on the restaurants, clothing, electronics and other non-essential items.

If small businesses can’t afford to operate any longer, the landlords will be stuck with empty spaces for lease and no other businesses are waiting or rushing to lease these places as well.

All levels of government should step in and do their part as well. I am asking all levels of government to

·         Reduce business income Tax

·         Reduce Payroll Tax

·         Reduce the WSIB rate

·         Reduce commercial Real Estate Taxes including commercial Tax assessments

·         Reduce utility rates

·         Legislate Banks to reduce interests on commercial and business loans

·         Legislate Commercial landlords must waive gross rent for temporarily closed businesses due to Covid-19

·         Legislate that Commercial landlords to reduce and defer gross rent on small businesses partially opened and with a loss 30% of sales due to the impact of Covid-19

· Utility companies to reduce and defer the payments without penalty or interest