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government grants for small businesses

Toronto mayor says new program is coming to help businesses in hospitality sector

Toronto restaurant owners that have been struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be glad to know that the mayor says more help is on the way from the federal government. 

Speaking during the city's pandemic press briefing Monday afternoon, Mayor John Tory said he spoke to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the weekend and was reassured to hear that a new program for small businesses will soon be announced.

"I've been fighting for this support throughout and I'm very reassured by the response... from the government of Canada, and what I've been told by the prime minister and the deputy prime minister," Tory said.

"Namely, that we will soon have a new program to assist small business, including, in particular, those in the hospitality business." 

According to the mayor, once announced, the federal program will be retroactive to Oct. 1. 

"From the general description that I've received," he said, "I believe the program will be responsive to the concerns that we have gathered quite deliberately here in Toronto from the restaurant industry."

The hospitality industry has been particularly impacted by the pandemic since it first arrived in March, especially amid lockdown measures in the spring which resulted in the permanent closure of many family-run and beloved local businesses

Now, as case numbers continue to rise dramatically in Toronto and throughout Ontario, the city's top doctor is calling on the province to shut down indoor dining in Toronto for a four-week period to help curb the spread of the virus. 

The provincial government has yet to commit to doing so, stating that such a move will destroy lives and more data is required before making a decision. 

Still, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and other health experts maintain that stricter public health measures are paramount if we hope to get the second wave under control, and local small businesses will inevitably be hit hard once again if this measure is introduced.

"We discussed the fact that unprecedented times call for unprecedented levels of cooperation and action to protect people and businesses," Tory said of his conversation with Trudeau. "And I believe throughout the time of this pandemic, that we've seen just that."

Lead photo by

Roozbeh Rokni

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