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New federal assistance will help restaurants survive COVID-19


October 5, 2020
By Canadian Pizza

Topics

Ottawa – The federal government is adding $600 million to a fund meant to help small- and medium-sized businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly said Oct. 2.

A central part of this is the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, which helps support those who may not be eligible for other programs. Since the Fund was launched in May, over 12,000 businesses have been assisted through the RRRF, helping them keep their employees, cover costs, and protect almost 95,000 jobs across Canada.

With the public health situation continuing to evolve, businesses across the country need more support now. That’s why the minister announced the federal government will provide an additional $600 million to support workers and businesses through RRRF. This additional investment brings the total RRRF support to over $1.5 billion, helping businesses and organizations weather the impact of COVID-19.

Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) will deliver the RRRF in their regions, working closely with businesses and innovators in their communities. The additional funds will continue to be administered by the RDAs. Part of that funding will also be distributed by the RDAs to Community Futures organizations in order to target businesses and organizations in rural communities.

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Restaurants Canada applauds funding

Restaurants Canada commended the federal government for committing to help businesses survive the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with new funding.

“Many of the measures announced respond to our recommendations to help Canada’s vital foodservice sector pull through these extraordinarily challenging times,” said Restaurants Canada President and CEO Todd Barclay. “We appreciate the federal government’s continued recognition of the unique impacts that COVID-19 have had on restaurants and how integral they are to the economic recovery of communities across the country.”

Without continued and additional support, Restaurants Canada estimates that 40 per cent of independent restaurants might not survive beyond March 2021, on top of the roughly 10 per cent of establishments that have already permanently closed over the first six months of the pandemic.

The association continues to recommend support for restaurants in the following key areas:

  • Assistance with labour costs, rising debt and cash flow
  • Red tape reduction for small and medium sized businesses
  • Targeted foodservice sector support