However, some firms continue to fall through the cracks of existing federal programs. According to the CFIB, the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (THRP) has not reached many businesses that have been hit by the continuing restrictions in the events, tourism and hospitality industries. Businesses that have been left behind include hotel soap makers, pet boarding services, ice sculptors, and thousands of other enterprises that supply or support restricted industries.
The CFIB is urging the federal government to expand THRP to include businesses that rely on tourism, hospitality, or events as part of their operations.
It is also calling for other amendments to federal aid programs, such as:
- Reintroduce Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program with a new loan amount of $80,000 and a 50% forgivable portion;
- returning wage and rent subsidies to the levels used in the spring of 2021: a sliding scale as a percentage of revenue losses, up to a maximum of 75%, provided for all occupations; And
- Expanding all business assistance programs to include new enterprises started after the pandemic began.
CFIB President Dan Kelly said, “Many provinces are beginning to rapidly eliminate a number of COVID restrictions, including lockdowns, capacity restrictions and the vaccine passport system.” “This is welcome news, but the reality is that until public health officials and governments can encourage consumers to return to food, theater and travel, the COVID fear factor may be enough to keep many Canadians at home. Will happen. Until then, businesses will need some degree of support.”