Mayor seeks financial relief for foodservice industry in Ontario

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

On April 20, Mayor Rob Burton wrote to Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seeking financial relief for Ontario’s foodservice industry.

“With little to no revenue, restaurant operators will be unable to pay rent and other fixed costs, forcing them to permanently close their doors before recovery can even begin,” said Mayor Burton in his letter, which also thanked both governments for the strong work already done to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Encouraged by the word that the provincial Premiers and Prime Minister are meeting and discussing options to address the need for up to three months of rent relief for small businesses that have been hardest hit by the crisis, Mayor Burton believes the Federal and Provincial governments can assist businesses to address the spectre of impending rent with a few essential steps.

These include an immediate moratorium on commercial evictions, a program of direct rent subsidies to businesses equivalent to the business’s sales volume reduction and measures to continue throughout the recovery period to allow business to ramp back up. Mayor Burton also suggests that, as these measures have been for the greater public good, Government should compel landlords and banks to share the cost of the emergency measures and believes they should not be borne solely by the lessee.

“When we move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario will need every business, large and small, available to pull together and cities able to provide essential municipal services that support the Province, its businesses and Ontario’s residents,” said Mayor Burton.