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Ontario providing $300 million to restaurants to offset fixed costs due to recent health measures

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Province is also permitting alcohol with delivery and takeout food orders

lead photo Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction

ETOBICOKE, ON., Oct. 13, 2020 — Today, at Mamma Martino’s Restaurant in Etobicoke, the Ontario government announced that $300 million will be allocated to provide relief for local restaurants and other businesses impacted by the new public health measures. The funds are intended to help offset fixed costs, including property taxes, hydro and natural gas bills.

Ontario is also going to permanently allow licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order.

The province also is encouraging everyone to support local restaurants and the food services industry during COVID-19. Last week, the province introduced additional targeted public health measures in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts to help slow the spread of the virus. Over the next 28 days, indoor food and drink service at restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments in these regions will be prohibited, but they may continue to offer takeout, delivery and outdoor dining.

Today, Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliot, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, were at Mamma Martino’s Restaurant in Etobicoke to highlight government support for the industry.

“Families and entrepreneurs across Ontario have poured their hearts into local restaurants and diners. They’ve been there for us, from donating to charities to sponsoring little league sports,” said Premier Ford. “To support them during these tough times, our government is making millions available to provide relief for fixed costs. I’m also calling on everyone in Ontario to rally around our small businesses by ordering takeout or delivery. Together, we can make a huge difference.”

The provincial government is also supporting small business in several ways through its Main Street Recovery Plan by:

  • Committing to permanently allow licensed restaurants and bars to include alcohol with food as part of a takeout or delivery order before the existing regulation expires;
  • Permanently allowing 24/7 deliveries to restaurants;
  • Supporting the distribution of local food and food products by increasing the range of products sold at the Ontario Food Terminal;
  • Ending outdated and duplicative rules so businesses can focus on their work;
  • Modernizing regulations to allow businesses to innovate and meet the challenges of today;
  • Providing mental health supports to business owners and employees who are struggling;
  • Providing $57 million with federal partners through the Digital Main Street program and creating new Digital Main Street squads to help small businesses grow online; and
  • Launching a new portal to assist small businesses to quickly find the supports and information they need.

“Small businesses account for 98 per cent of all businesses across the province and employ close to 2.4 million hardworking Ontarians. That’s why their recovery, including those in the food service sector, is so critical to Ontario’s recovery,” said Minister Sarkaria. “During the good times, our restaurants have given us a place to gather as family and friends — to build memories. We must continue to show them what they mean to our communities. All Ontarians can support their local businesses by celebrating #TakeoutDay — today, tomorrow, and any day of the week.”

Read more top stories at TOtimes.ca and MTLtimes.ca.

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