‘It won’t be easy’: Local businesses react to expired pandemic relief
The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) came to an end on Saturday and local business are wondering how they can stay afloat.
“Next week we get our last funding and then it’s done because it’s always behind,” Kelly Adlys, the manager of the Huether Hotel in Uptown Waterloo said to CTV News. “Can we carry it up for a month of two? I don’t know.”
Businesses in the hospitality sector can apply for financial assistance through the newly introduced Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, but the program will only accept businesses that suffer a minimum monthly revenue loss of 40 per cent.
Restaurants Canada says 70 per cent of restaurants rely on CRB to stay open throughout the pandemic but 50 per cent of them will no longer qualify for the new support program.
“Many of them will have to make the hard decision of whether they go on or not,” said James Rillett with Restaurants Canada. “I’m sure some will be able to figure a way to make it happen. But a lot of them, it will be a death sentence for them.”
If accepted, workplaces will receive $300 per week through the new program, but some business owners fear it may not be enough to replace the benefits they used to get.
“That covers what, half my hydro,” Elite Training Facility owner Dorothy Sinding told CTV. “It’s scary but at the same time I hope it’s a move in the right direction that things are opening up, that people are doing better.”
The Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit will be available until May 7, 2022.