RCC statement on Federal Budget 2021 - Retail Council of Canada
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RCC statement on Federal Budget 2021

April 19, 2021

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) commends the federal government for its recognition of the financial and operational challenges faced by retailers during the pandemic and in the forthcoming recovery period.

RCC has advocated for the extension of the main business support programs CEWS and CERS and we are pleased to see those programs extended until September 25, 2021, but take note of declining support levels, especially during the last four weeks of those programs.

The new Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CHRP) will help retailers who are planning on expanding their workforces and increasing hours, which makes sense for most during a recovery period.  We understand that the government wants to transition workers back into the economy and away from income support programs under EI and CRB and to have businesses build up their workforces.

Our caveat is that the pandemic has had differing effects across our sector, with some merchants seeing far deeper reductions in revenues, and thereby, requiring longer than others to recover.  RCC recommends that the CEWS and CERS supports may need to remain in place longer for those most adversely affected.

Finally, we are pleased to see the inclusion of a commitment to address excessive credit card interchange fees, on which RCC has taken a firm position on the need for regulatory measures. A reduction in credit card fees is especially important to retailers in consequence of the COVID pandemic, having faced a dramatic increase in costs given the rise in online shopping and the declining use of cash.

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

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