July 21st, 2021

Struggle not over for small businesses:’ York South—Weston MPP

YORK SOUTH—WESTON — NDP MPP Faisal Hassan said many small businesses in his community are still struggling to stay afloat and is urging the Ford government to provide a third, and greatly improved, round of local business grants.

“Small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, and their struggle to pay the bills and keep staff employed is not over,” MPP Hassan said.
“I’ve heard from businesses that have been turned away, deemed ineligible for the province’s small business support grant for reasons that seem arbitrary, and others saying the support just hasn’t been enough.”
Hassan and the Ontario NDP are calling for a third, and expanded, round of support grants, to help businesses reopen and stay open as the province enters Step 3.
Mohammad Waliabbas – owner of Aya's Dry Cleaning & Alterations Inc.:

“Before Covid I was working 15 hours a day to keep my business going and to be successful.
When Covid hit it affected all of us but small businesses like mine were affected the most, and my dry-cleaning business that relied on hotel and banquet business was severely hurt.

I was hoping to get support from the Ontario government because I saw other businesses helped, but dry cleaners were not on the list for government support and I feel let down by that. As we re-open with Step 3, I am hoping for any kind of government support that will help my business, as well as other small businesses, get back on their feet and once again help contribute to the Ontario economy.”
Laurie Raymond – owner of Creative Children’s Dance Centre:
“In pre-COVID-19 times I would have 350 to 400 students. Throughout COVID-19, my business dropped to fewer than 100 students, and I have had to take on many extra expenses. Many students have indicated they will not be returning, and are choosing to stop extracurricular activities altogether, since COVID has taken away their motivation and passion.

This is devastating for the dance and arts communities. Moving forward and recovering from the pandemic is going to take rebuilding clientele and restructuring our business plan. I would like to see the government provide a third round of business supports to help rebuild.”
Andrea Horwath and the NDP’s Reopen Stay Open plan includes:
A vastly improved third round of Ontario Small Business Support Grant payments The NDP is calling for a round of small business grants that’s open to any 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 travel in Ontario, including at restaurants, hotels, outfitters and attractions.
Targeted re-opening support for personal care and service-based businesses Personal care businesses like salons and service-industry businesses like restaurants need access to a Safe Reopening Grant to guarantee they can afford public health protections.
Access to forgivable loans Businesses may need access to capital to re-open and drive economic recovery.