As promised in our January 19th Newsletter, CAEM's federal-funding ask, created in conjunction with Crestview Strategy, has now been finalized. The purpose of this document is to outline to policymakers the urgent and immediate need for targeted support. It illustrates the positive economic impact trade and consumer shows have on local economies and how we can significantly contribute to recovery. Further, it details the stark reality that our industry is among the hardest hit, as a result of the actions taken by government to combat the pandemic. In addition to this document, government departments and ministries will also be sent a Fact Sheet, which you can find here. The Fact Sheet is meant to illustrate the injury our sector has suffered and set the tone for the ask which follows.
Our asks of the Federal Government are clearly and concisely laid out in the document which you can read in detail here.
Here is a brief overview of our ask:
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS): CAEM asks the federal government to extend the CEWS until June 2022 for the hardest hit sectors, including for trade shows, consumer shows and events, while expanding eligibility criteria to include independent contractors. Further, the CEWS should be increased to subsidize 85% of wages for the hardest-hit sectors.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS): CAEM asks the federal government to extend the CERS until June 2022 for the hardest hit sectors, including for trade shows, consumer shows and events, while expanding the eligibility criteria to include rent paid to facilities once reopening begins. Further, we ask for an increase or removal of the $300,000 cap to allow larger businesses and businesses with multiple facilities to benefit from this program, and that the 90% top up be expanded to businesses that are impacted by restrictions on mass gatherings and travel restrictions, such as commercial events.
Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF): In Budget 2021, the RRRF should be recapitalized and extended to June 2022 to support the ‘hardest hit’ sectors nationwide, reflecting the fact that the exposition sector will face challenges for at least the next year. The earmarking of 25% of RRRF funding for tourism should continue, and eligibility should be expanded to tourism-adjacent businesses as well as permitting access to funding for businesses which may have received other COVID-relating funding such as CEWS, CERS, CEBA, etc. A specific business events funding stream that includes trade and consumer shows, as well as related businesses such as those in the supply chain relying on trade and consumer shows for a percentage of their annual revenue, should be established, with a portion of the funding earmarked as forgivable. This support will ensure that the commercial events sector will survive to support the economic recovery and return of safe domestic tourism in 2021-2022. Finally, the specific tourism funding streams which are available through the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in Southern Ontario and Quebec, should be established in all remaining RDAs to ensure a level playing field across the country.
Highly Affected Sectors Credit Program (HASCAP): CAEM asks the federal government to ensure that program eligibility include trade shows, consumer shows and expositions, as well as those in the supply chain relying on commercial events for a certain percentage for their annual revenue . Further, a portion of HASCAP loans should be forgivable, dependent on business size and revenue losses.