VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — B.C.’s tourism and hospitality operators need more help from the provincial and federal governments to survive the pandemic, according to an industry leader.
Walt Judas, CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of B.C., said up to 40 per cent of hotels and 50 per cent of restaurants may not re-open if the situation continues for the foreseeable future.
That’s in addition to other small businesses that rely on international visitors and have already closed or written off their seasons, he added.
Judas said a working capital grant program needs to be established for all the businesses in the stuggling sector, which generates $20 billion a year in B.C.
“That is a pool of resources that can be accessed to allow businesses to stay afloat.”
He would also like to see a temporary moratorium on evictions for commercial tenants, similar to what’s already in place residental properties.
He said a suspension on property tax increases and penalties for late payments would help, too.
“Businesses can’t afford some of the licencing fees or increases in property taxes that are forthcoming. So suspending those or waiving those, for the time being, is important,” he said.