“Many in the meetings and business events sector are fighting for survival,” says Clark Grue, chair, Meetings Mean Business Canada. “We’re gratified that the federal government has recognized the economic hardships facing key sectors of the visitor economy. As we go forward, we’re committed to working with government representatives to ensure quick roll-out of the proposals and we will continue to work closely with leaders from every sector of the tourism and hospitality industry to ensure our voices are heard and relief is provided to the hardest-hit businesses.”
The federal update entitled “Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19” was presented by Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance on Monday, November 30, 2020. It includes the following commitments:
- The Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP), a new program offering 100% government-guaranteed financing for the hardest-hit businesses, and low-interest loans of up to $1 million over extended terms, up to 10 years.
- Increasing the maximum wage subsidy rate to 75% during the period from December 20, 2020 to March 13, 2021.
- Providing greater certainty to businesses by extending, to March 13, 2021, the current subsidy rates of the government’s fixed cost relief program (the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy).
- $500 million in additional funding to the Regional Development Agencies to provide financing support to local businesses that are unable to access other federal financial assistance.
- Applying the GST/HST to all platform-based short-term rental accommodations in Canada.
MMBC is a committed partner with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, the Canadian Travel & Tourism Roundtable and the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses in advocating for federal and provincial support in the areas of increased wage subsidies, relief from fixed costs and access to liquidity.