FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
In an effort to stabilize the restaurant industry, local restaurant owners, the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) and the Ottawa Coalition of Business Improvement Areas (OCOBIA), representing 19 local BIAs and approximately one thousand restaurants, have collaborated to request Government relief for restaurants through reducing or eliminating HST collection and remittance until restaurants return to full dining.
Before COVID-19, restaurants operated on small profit margins. Investments in PPE, and incurring additional 3rd party delivery fees, are resulting in operating losses and mounting debt.
Restaurants are reported to have invested $750 million in PPE by December 2020 – only to face continued closures and minimized capacity.
“This industry is vital to our Main streets, not to mention it supports so many other sectors from agriculture and advertising, to trades and design. Restaurants are an integral part of our tourism sector and they are also vital employers of youth and newcomers,” Nathalie Carrier, Executive Director Vanier BIA.
The Canadian restaurant industry, previously valued at $93 billion is believed to have lost over $50 billion in sales since the beginning of COVID-19.
Government relief through reducing or pardoning HST will help stabilize restaurants by increasing their margins enough navigate through to the end of the pandemic. It is proposed that the restaurant could use the HST collected, currently sitting in their coffers awaiting remittance, against mounding debt.
“Though we put on a brave face most of us are masking mountains of debts and hanging on by a thread,” Harriet Clunie, Executive Chef of Das Lokal in Ottawa’s Byward Market. “We’re running out of steam, we’re running out of ideas and we’re running out of money.”
Act now to support this campaign. Further information is located at RestoHST.CA