Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC) says it’s encouraged by new support measures proposed as part of the federal government’s long-awaited 2020 fall economic update, unveiled Nov. 30 by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.
“Many in the meetings and business events sector are fighting for survival,” says MMBC chair, Clark Grue. “We’re gratified the government has recognized the economic hardships facing key sectors of the visitor economy. As we go forward, we’re committed to working with government representatives to ensure quick rollout of the proposals and we will continue to work closely with leaders from every sector of the tourism and hospitality industry to ensure our voices are heard and relief is provided to the hardest hit businesses.”
The fiscal update included new support for hard-hit industries through the creation of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program, or HASCAP. It offers 100 per cent government-guaranteed financing for businesses in sectors such as tourism and hospitality, hotels, arts and entertainment, and low interest loans of up to $1 million over extended terms, up to 10 years.
The tourism industry will get an additional $500 million in support for local businesses through the government’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.
The government is also proposing to increase the maximum wage subsidy rate to 75 per cent during the period from Dec. 20, 2020, to March 13, 2021.
As well, it is providing greater certainty to businesses by extending the current subsidy rates of the government’s fixed cost relief program, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, to March 13, 2021.
In July 2021, the federal government will start applying GST/HST to digital platform-based short-term rentals.
MMBC is the operating name of the Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada. It is a committed partner with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, the Canadian Travel and Tourism Roundtable and the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses in advocating for federal and provincial support in the areas of increased wage subsidies, relief from fixed costs and access to liquidity.