KAMLOOPS (April 7, 2021) – As the latest round of health restrictions continues to devastate the hospitality industry, BC Liberal Critic for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation Todd Stone is reiterating the urgent call to support struggling business owners and workers after days of inaction from John Horgan and the NDP.
“It’s been nine days since John Horgan and the NDP announced the immediate closure of indoor dining at restaurants and there’s still yet to be any supports offered to these businesses who were forced to close with no advanced warning,” said Stone. “Last week, the Jobs Minister said some help might be made available this week but, for many businesses, it will already be too late. Hospitality businesses are feeling abandoned by this government and they need immediate help today,” said Stone.
The BC Liberals have been urging the NDP government to take action to get financial support to small businesses, including:
- Providing immediate financial support to restaurants hit with sudden costs due to lost perishable inventory as a result of the latest health orders.
- Immediately adjusting the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program by:
- Speeding up the application and approvals process to reduce the massive backlog that exists; and
- Easing the eligibility criteria, including the requirement for a business to have been operating for at least 18 months as of the date of application; the requirement for a business to have had positive cash flow for the last financial statement prior to February 2020; and the requirement that business ownership has not prepared the business to be up for sale following February 1, 2020.
- Expanding support for small businesses through tax deferrals and relief, such as:
- Deferring the Employer Health Tax, Provincial Sales Tax and Carbon tax; and
- Stopping all tax increases and planned new taxes for 2021.
- Ensuring that advance notice of additional health measures are provided to businesses in the future.
“The COVID-19 case counts continue to go up but the NDP still has no plan in place, which shows John Horgan’s complete lack of empathy and understanding for businesses. The NDP needs to act now — time is running out for these people who are seeing their livelihoods slip away,” concluded Stone.