Retail Council of Canada appreciates the challenges that the Government of Ontario is facing with regards to the growing number of new COVID cases across the province. As such, we understand the need to make temporary adjustments to the current provincial Orders.
It will be important for the government to refocus its efforts on assisting non-essential retailers as they continue to be severely affected by shutdowns and lockdowns. Let us not forget that non-essential retailers in Ontario have now been closed for 170 days since the beginning of the pandemic. 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. Specifically, non-essential retail businesses of all sizes would benefit from: relief from municipal taxes and utilities; low cost and long-term loans; refundable tax credits for PPE; rent support and continued protection from commercial evictions.
Retail is the largest private sector employer in Canada. As such, we are committed to working closely with the government in the weeks ahead so that we can begin planning for retail and economic recovery. This includes our offer to work in partnership to expedite the roll out of vaccines.
On behalf of Retail of Canada’s thousands of members, we once again implore the public to obey the forthcoming rules so that Ontario retailers – businesses that are at the heart of every community – can eventually find a safe pathway to a full reopening.
Diane J. Brisebois, President and CEO, Retail Council of Canada
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About Retail Council of Canada
Retail is Canada’s largest private sector employer. Retail Council of Canada (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. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, 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