Urgent COVID-19 Hospitality Action
CALL TO ACTION
Alberta is made up of a variety of diverse and constantly changing industries, which have been directly affected as a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. While the Federal Government has taken many steps to help us navigate this difficult time, there is a consensus among our Hospitality Community that additional steps are necessary to prevent major loss of jobs, taxes, revenue, tourism & real estate and more. Without these or steps like these, this Global Crisis will leave our community and economy in a position that will take years or decades to recover.
Hospitality industry leaders from across the city of Edmonton have come together to propose an economic stimulus and relief package to deal with the COVID-19 crisis that is unique to our industry and the specific challenges we face. These proposed solutions take into account that the restaurant and hospitality sector in Edmonton employs hundreds of thousands of people and pays tens of millions in payroll and taxes each year.
The following is intended to be a consensus road-map from dozens of Edmonton Independent Hospitality businesses & our partners. We need immediate action to save this industry from collapse. All of these businesses are fighting for their livelihoods, the livelihoods of their staff and the survival of this industry in Edmonton and beyond.
PROPOSAL TO HELP THE HOSPITALITY SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMY DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS
1. Suspend / “PAUSE” Small Business payments over the business interruption - Leases, loans, line of credit, credit cards, etc. This bold step (being practiced in Sweden & other countries currently) would enable small businesses to weather the crisis by pausing debt payments for the duration of the crisis at a time when many hospitality businesses were forced to be shuttered, and others earning much reduced or zero revenue. Deference is not Relief.
2. Suspend all Rents, Mortgage payments for all Commercial & Residential currently leased or rented, for 3 months. This will prevent compounding interest on any deferred payments, but will not delay the stress of recovery as a result. Landlords & Tenants need this to ensure reopening & rehiring of employees.
3. Extend “Temporary Layoff” period for staff who have been displaced over this interruption, to 120 days, or the time expected to recover from this Public Health Emergency.
4. Extend EI benefits for employees laid off for and additional 60 days after they return to work/ Introduce a UBI (Universal Basic Income) of $2,000/month for All. This funding tool would enable governments to directly stimulate the economy and provide families with necessities. This would alleviate the financial stress of small business owners who have lost their incomes with the closure of their businesses & provide peace of mind that staff who have been temporarily or permanently laid off are able to purchase necessities.
5. Immediate cash relief to affected businesses equal to last month of business revenue. Not a loan, a one time cash payment from the government to support a contingency period and allow owners to develop long-term strategic plans, provide financial stability and relieve them from short term debt burden.
6. Relief payments (to approved businesses) for loss of revenue for the time period of March 12 – 29 2020, as AHS began implementing safety protocols to help prevent the spread of this deadly virus.People rightfully began to distance themselves from hospitality businesses that were operating under limited or zero capacity.
7. Suspend All Negative Consumer/Business Credit Reporting During this Global Pandemic. There would be a total moratorium on negative reporting during the pandemic and for 120 days thereafter. Afterwards, consumers/ businesses could add their names to a database for continued protection.
8.Mandate suspension of small business rent and place a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures and repossessions for the duration of the pandemic and for 120 days after the approved AHS return to full regular business operations.
9. Suspend payment arrangements for arrears with CRA for the duration of the crisis and allow businesses a grace period after the crisis subsides to restart payment arrangements.
10. Provide a traditional small business lender (BDC or similar.) with funds directed specifically to the hospitality industry and small independently owned businesses that don’t generally qualify for traditional lending. This will enable hospitality businesses access to low interest lending that can help them pivot as the situation develops and their needs evolve.
INTO THE FUTURE
The Edmonton Independent Hospitality Community, and our vast network of stakeholders, are here to invest in both the short and long term. We are prepared to act as facilitators and conveyors where possible, but need to get on an even playing-field to get back to what we do and love. Now, more than ever, we need to work together in our entrepreneur ecosystems, while ensuring we are well poised to emerge from this situation stronger than ever. In the meantime, we remain hardworking and steadfast in our commitment to staff & stakeholder communities, providing our best pivots & practices until the provincial and federal programs lead the way onto our new economic landscape.
The Edmonton Independent Hospitality Community
TO SEND TO ELECTED OFFICIALS
My name is __________. [Introduce yourself].
I want to let you know that taking action on saving the hospitality industry from collapse during the COVID-19 crisis is a priority that requires your action immediately.
Hospitality industry leaders from across the city of Edmonton have come together as the Edmonton Independent Hospitality Community (EIHC) and propose an economic stimulus and relief package to deal with the COVID-19 crisis that is unique to our industry and the specific challenges we face.
These proposed solutions take into account that the restaurant and hospitality sector in Edmonton employs hundreds of thousands of people and pays millions in payroll and taxes each year.
The industry requires three things:
Help to Reopen
Enclosed in this email is a link to our memo with 10 action items and proposed solutions. We need immediate action from the government to save the hospitality industry. Please let me know how you plan to take action on these items.
You can find the contact information for all City Councillors as well as the mayor here.
James Cumming - MP Edmonton Centre: email@example.com
Deron Bilous - MLA & Econ Dev Critic: edmonton.beverlyclareview.assembly.ab.ca
Christina Gray - MLA & Labour Critic: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaycee Madu - Minister for Municipal Affairs: minister.municipalaffairs.gov.ab.ca
Tanya Fir - Economic Development Minister: email@example.com
Nate Glubish - Service Alberta: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Carson: Service Alberta Critic: email@example.com
Joe Ceci: Municipal Affairs Critic: firstname.lastname@example.org