ORHMA reaffirms support for Ontario hospitality and foodservice amid shutdown

As the holiday season is upon us, the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) is reflecting on the past year and recognizing those who have shaped and supported ORHMA through what has been one of the most challenging times that Canada’s hospitality and foodservice industry has faced.

“It is because of YOU, our members, that we continue to work tirelessly to ensure our voice is heard and we are proud at how we have come together as an industry during these trying times,” says a message from the association.

“It goes without saying that our industry has been so heavily impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have experienced hardships and challenges like never before. We, as your industry association, continue to support you every step of the way.

“Although our holidays will be different this year, we, on behalf of ORHMA’s Board of Directors, and Staff, wish you a very Merry Christmas and hoping for a positive and bright New Year.

“We look forward to working with you in 2021.”

Ontario enters shutdown

Ontario’s provincial government announced this week it will begin a province-wide shutdown on Boxing Day, December 26, 2020, in line with health recommendations.

While this has been deemed a necessary measure for the safety of citizens and to control to spread of the COVID-19 infection, it will have a large effect on numerous industries, including hospitality and foodservice.

Included in the measures is the prohibition of indoor dining across the province. Restaurants, bars, and other foodservice or drink establishments will be permitted to operate via takeout, drive-through, and delivery service only.

Meanwhile, in-person shopping will also be banned in most retail settings, although curbside pickup and delivery can continue. Discount and big-box retailers selling groceries will be limited to 25 per cent capacity for in-store shopping. Supermarkets, grocery stores and similar stores that primarily sell food, as well as pharmacies, will continue to operate at 50 per cent capacity for in-store shopping.

The government notes it is “without a doubt” that these measures will impact small businesses. In response, Ontario will be providing additional support in order for these businesses to continue to serve their communities and keep Ontarians employed.

In particular, the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will provide a minimum of $10,000 and up to $20,000 to eligible small business owners to help them navigate these challenging times. The one-time grant is available to small businesses required to close or restrict services under the shutdown.

Earlier in December, ORHMA’s president Tony Elenis wrote to Premier Doug Ford to urge changes to the province’s foodservice measures to further support the industry throughout COVID-19 and this winter.

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