Advocacy | Coronavirus | Ontario

Ontario’s retailers need more supports to go hand-in-hand with another round of closures

April 7, 2021

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is urgently calling upon the Ontario government to step up with additional financial supports for non-essential retail businesses of all sizes as they face another round of store closures.

Many of Ontario’s non-essential retailers, big and small, just emerged from more than 100 days of consecutive closures, including during the most important shopping period of the year, and once again they are being told to shut their doors to customers.

In total, non-essential retailers have been closed for 161 days during the past year. With reduced sales, very little cash on hand and mounting debt, they have had to deal with stale inventory and still re-invest in the purchase of new merchandise for the important spring and summer shopping seasons.

RCC is aware of upwards of 2,000 stores in Canada that did not reopen in 2021 or who faced significant barriers to reopening. While federal wage and rent supports have been a partial help, it has simply come to the point where retailers need more.  RCC calls upon the province to work with us on the following:

  • Ongoing and enhanced relief from municipal taxes and utilities;
  • Continued protection from commercial evictions;
  • Refundable tax credits for PPE expenditures such as increased safety training;
  • Low cost and long-term loans to assist non-essential retailers in managing their growing debt load; and
  • A joint request to the federal government that they improve the lockdown assistance system so that it is based on regional, rather than national, revenue reductions.

An important contributor to the economy, retail is also an engine for growth for many other sectors such as strip malls, shopping centres, construction, transportation, logistics and IT.  As the largest private-sector employer in Canada – nearly 780,000 jobs alone in Ontario – the retail sector needs support from governments at all levels more than ever before.

For more information or to schedule media interviews, contact:
Michelle Wasylyshen, mwasylyshen@retailcouncil.org

About Retail Council of Canada (RCC)

RCC members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit, industry-funded association that represents small, medium and large retail businesses in every community across the country. We proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.RetailCouncil.org

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