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Though most Canadians have only been social distancing for a few weeks, many are already wondering: when will businesses like bars, restaurants and other amenities reopen?
Unfortunately, it looks like some form of lockdown due to COVID-19 is going to last quite a bit longer than we may have anticipated, especially if a large chunk of the population continues to defy the rules and recommendations set out by various levels of government.
There is also the fact that, for some of our beloved establishments, the economic blow of the global pandemic is proving to be too much to recover from.
A new survey from Restaurants Canada has shown that one in ten restaurants across the country have already had to shutter permanently because of the loss of business in the last few weeks.
And, an additional 18 per cent will likely have to close within one month under the current landscape that has become our new reality.
The survey also reveals that some 800,000 food service jobs have been lost, with 80 per cent of restaurants having to lay off employees in the past month despite the fact that many are still able to remain open for takeout and delivery service.
“In our 75 years of existence as Canada’s national foodservice association, these are by far the worst numbers we have ever seen,” Restaurants Canada’s president and CEO says in a release.
The statement also calls for rent relief and access to government funds for those in the industry who have been the hardest hit and may have to face closing their doors for good.
Prime Minister Trudeau has listened to those in the industry who requested a 75 per cent wage subsidy, and also established the Canada Emergency Business Account, a $25 billion program providing loans to independent businesses, among other financial provisions for affected Canadians.
Indie establishments are also doing their best to help one another out.
Still, there will surely be individuals and businesses that will not be able to recoup the losses they’ve incurred during this unprecedented, uncertain time, and our cities will definitely be looking completely different whenever (if ever) things return to normal.