Like so many Small Business Owners, I’m tired. May 1st is here and Commercial Rent is due.
So far, aid for small businesses has largely been in the form of loans. With many sectors of the economy completely shut down for months, this has left small businesses with the incredibly cruel choice of going deeply into debt or closing the doors entirely.
With May 1 rents looming, thousands of small business owners across the country are upset that landlords are still not stepping up to offer them relief and help as they struggle to stay alive during the vicious economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
In Save Small Business’s recent survey of over 2,000 business owners, 66 per cent said rent relief was the most important government support, with the CEBA loan and wage subsidies far behind. Fifty-two per cent said that without rent relief, their business would not survive.
Ontario's tourism sector could be decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with well over half of all tourism businesses already temporarily closed and 16 per cent at risk of permanent closures, new survey results show.
'Financial aid for seasonal operators is crucial right now'
Prepared by Save Small Business
Business owners in our neighbourhood and across the country are asking for real support after years of growing the economy, paying taxes, and employing over 70% of Canadians. We’ve shut our doors to protect public health, and now we need support, to protect local jobs and products.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Excellent Adventures co-owner Faron Buckler had expected 25 Texan doctors to be loading their fishing gear onto floatplanes in Red Lake on Victoria Day weekend. They’d then lift off for lodges in the northern Ontario wilderness, hoping to bring home a trophy fish — or at least a good story about the one that got away.
“Tourism is facing what is probably its worst challenge in modern history,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told a news conference. “Because this is one of the crown jewels of the French economy, rescuing it is a national priority.”
The landlord replied that the program wouldn't apply because he has a mortgage on that property, adding that "[he's] not getting into any government schemes" because "they never work."
Very few industries in Canada have been left untouched by the pandemic and consequent economic fallout, and small businesses owners are feeling the impact more drastically than others.
With May rent due tomorrow, small business owners are very concerned about whether landlords will take up the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program, according to new survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
With commercial rents due on Friday, and despite a federal program meant to help alleviate the burden, some business owners say they do not have enough money in the bank to cover what they owe.
“My losses for May alone will be $180,000,” said Betty McGie, CEO for Watson’s Algoma Vacations, which operates Pine Portage Lodge on Kaby Lake, 80 kilometres by air north of Wawa.
In an interview with the Sault Star, she said the losses will grow to $1.5 million if the lodge remains closed for the entire season.
A leaked Destination Canada study prepared by McKinsay and Company suggests that more than 61,000 tourism businesses could close within two months, leading to more than 1.7 million layoffs. The same report indicates that more than 60 percent of tourism-based businesses are projected to run out of cash should this year’s summer season not materialize. That was as of March 27—and the outlook has not gotten any better in the interim.