The Ontario Restaurant, Hotel, and Motel Association (ORHMA) has described the Liberal government’s proposed supports for the hospitality and tourism sectors as “a big win” for the industry.
OHRMA notes that over the past several months it has been actively involved in the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, advocating for sector-specific support and an extension of federal support programs to help the province’s hardest-hit businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
On August 16, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that if his Liberal government is re-elected in the recently announced snap election in September, it will introduce a temporary wage subsidy and rent subsidy stream for sectors like hotels, tour operators, convention centres, and festivals that have been experiencing a minimum of 40 per cent revenue loss.
The Liberal plan confirms that qualifying businesses in these sectors would be able to access a maximum subsidy rate of up to 75 per cent, commensurate to their revenue loss, in order to help cover fixed costs like wages and rent.
That subsidy, similar to the kind of measure brought in during the pandemic for restaurants and other small businesses, would be available between September 2021 until May 31, 2022.
ORHMA hailed the announcement as “exactly aligned” with the survival plan that the association has been advocating for.
“This is a direct result of your advocacy work, and we could not have done this without the support of our members,” said an ORHMA statement. “From the meetings with MPs, emails, phone calls and letters, your work has been pivotal to our success.
ORHMA, along with the Hotel Association of Canada and other businesses and associations part of the Coalition of Hardest-Hit Businesses, has worked tirelessly to draw attention to the difficult fall and winter that lies ahead for the many businesses in the hospitality sector.
“We are happy that the efforts of our advocacy and the advocacy of our members have brought relief to the industry,” ORHMA’s statement continued. “As your industry association, we thank you for your participation in our Call to Action and helping us strengthen our voice. We will continue to update our members with further information.”