June 28th, 2021

Horwath calls for supports for restaurants, personal support businesses

SCARBOROUGH — With salons back to business Wednesday and restaurants ramping up, Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is calling for A Safe Reopening Grant for personal care and service industries.

“There are big bills coming due for businesses like restaurants and salons that have face-to-face, extended contact, which means more health precautions and less capacity at first,” said Horwath. “We cannot risk another wave. We cannot risk people’s jobs and livelihoods again. And the Ford government should not be forcing these businesses to go it alone. With a Safe Reopening Fund, there’s more hope – a better chance that this reopening will finally be the last for the local businesses we love.”

Horwath said the Safe Reopening Grant would help with costs like PPE, plexiglass barriers, and staff required for health screening and contract tracing, along with helping keep staff on the payroll while businesses are not allowed to operate at full capacity. The NDP’s Reopen Stay Open plan also includes a $1,000 tourism tax credit which could be used for restaurant dining.

Horwath made the announcement in Scarborough Monday with NDP MPP Faisal Hassan (York South—Weston) and Ontario NDP Scarborough-Rouge Park candidate Felicia Samuel. Hassan and Samuel added that Horwath and the NDP’s Save Main Street plan also includes a fund for businesses that face historic barriers, like businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and racialized people.

“Our neighbourhoods have been built up by restaurants, salons and spas owned by people of colour, and the NDP is fighting to make sure they have the tools to get through the pandemic,” said Hassan.

“Doug Ford walked us right into a brutal third wave, causing the longest shutdowns in Canada — then he didn’t want to spend the money to help local businesses get through it,” said Samuel. “The NDP’s plan comes from listening to local business owners, and experts from organizations like the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce. It’s the right thing to do to get jobs and the economy on track.”

Background Horwath’s Reopen Stay Open plan includes:

A vastly improved third round of Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments
Unlike Doug Ford’s earlier choices, this time, the government must not leave any business behind – providing a new payment to bridge to reopening every small or medium-sized local business that’s experienced revenue decline in the third wave, compared to pre-pandemic.

A $1,000 tourism and local restaurant tax credit
The Travel Ontario Tax Credit bill from NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) gives families a $1,000 tax credit to visit qualifying tourism businesses in Ontario, including qualifying purchases at restaurants, to hotels, outfitters and attractions.

Targeted re-opening support for personal care and service-based businesses
Especially impacted by necessary public health measures, personal care businesses like salons and service-industry businesses like restaurants need access to a Safe Reopening Grant in order to open, and stay open.

Access to forgivable loans
Businesses may need access to capital to re-open and drive economic recovery.