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When Will Restaurants Be Allowed to Re-Open Indoors? 
CTV News (Ottawa) 

Businesses Struggling Due To Pandemic Restrictions 

Why Restaurants Are Opting Out of Third-Party Delivery Apps 

Toronto's Curb Lane Patios on the Danforth and Elsewhere Must Soon Be Packed Up
Cambridge Times

Doug Ford Calls Out Uber Eats & Businesses Face Rise in Insurance Costs
Zoomer Radio

ORHMA To Launch APP To Compete with Uber Eats & Door Dash
Newstalk 1010

Ontario restaurant group plans to launch food delivery service
NOW Magazine

New Campaign Calls on Governments Across Canada to Freeze Tax Increases on Beer 
New Kerala.com

Changing Menu Part 1: Restaurant and Hospitality Sector Clinging to Life
Windsor Star

Changing Menu Part 2: Local Restaurants Trying Everything in Battle to Serve Another Day
Windsor Star

Doug Ford Urges Food Delivery Apps to Cut Fees for Restaurants
Huffington Post

COVID-19 : les fermetures imposées par la province inquiètent les commerçants

How COVID-19 Has Impacted the Bar & Restaurant Industry 
Breakfast Television

Why some bar owners say Ontario's new COVID-19 restrictions will backfire 
CBC News

Ontario Tightens Rules on Bars and Restaurants - Closes Strip Clubs 
Newstalk 610 

Ontario to close all strip clubs, limit hours at bars and restaurants as coronavirus spreads 

Ontario Hotels, Convention Centres, and Banquet Halls Now Allowed to Have up to 50 Guests Per Dedicated Meeting & Event Space 
Kawartha Now 

"Unforeseen Events": Failte Irish Pub in Mississauga Closes Permanently After More Thn 20 Years

Toronto Mayor John Tory asks Premier Doug Ford to make masks mandatory in Restaurants & Bars for Stage 3 Re-Opening 

Is the government doing enough to help our hospitality industry? 
Global News 

Ottawa Waiving Patio Fees To Help Struggling Businesses 

Ford Issues Warning To Commercial Landlords 
Toronto Sun

Business Groups Urge Ontario to Halt Evictions During Pandemic 
The Canadian Press

5 Business Groups Urge Ontario to Halt Commercial Evictions 
City News

ORHMA Develops DineSafe Guide for Re-Opening 
Foodservice & Hospitality

ORHMA Develops Best Practices Guide For Re-Opening 

Food Delivery Apps to Reduce Commission Amid Pandemic 
CTV News

Limit Food Delivery App Fees During the Pandemic 
CBC News

Cut Delivery App Fees to Help Restaurants During the Pandemic 
Toronto Star

Delivery Wars:  Toronto Restaurants Are Taking The Power Back From Uber Eats
Now Toronto

Podcast Brings Industry Associations Together to Discuss Ramifications of COVID-19 for the Foodservice & Hospitality Industry 

Tony Elenis Speaks on Impact of COVID-19 to Ontario's Hospitality 
Fight Back - Zoomer Radio 

'Enhanced dining experience': Ontario to allow sale of alcohol for takeout and delivery

Ontario COVID-19 measures see layoffs in hospitality, travel industries

Businesses plead for relief as pandemic halts cash flow 
The Globe & Mail 

COVID-19 forces workers at sports bars, Scotiabank Arena to pay the price as pro leagues shut down 
CBC News 


Our new DineSafe.ca platform is a catalogue of best practices to help guide your safe and successful reopening. Developed by the industry for the industry because we are in this together!


Call to Action: ORHMA Calling on Members to Write to Local MPPs

Hotels Need Property Tax Support 
ORHMA has been making some noise about Property Tax Assessments and Ontario’s hotels and accommodation sector and is asking members to get involved.

Hospitality businesses experienced the negative impact of the COVID-19 outbreak first and will be the last to recover. Hotels and motels will run out of cash without new relief support. Although hotels have been deemed an essential service and were not mandated to close, travel and gathering restrictions across the province left hotels with poor occupancy rates. The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) reassesses properties based on building and land value which is considerable especially for hotels given their footprint. The government has indicated that property tax assessments for the 2021 property tax year will continue to be based on the fully phased-in Jan. 1, 2016 current values. This means that assessment for the 2021 property tax year will be the same as the 2020 tax year. A retroactive re-assessment tax year is needed to capture the depressed 2020 revenues and values of a dismal performance expected to continue in 2021. Significant changes to the property tax systems are required to provide much needed relief for hard hit businesses.

ORHMA has written to Ontario’s Minister of Finance and is asking members to write to their local MPP’s. The following
Call to Action issued to ORHMA members includes key messages, list of MPP’s and templates and samples. 

Advocating for Beverage Alcohol Price Reduction
During these critical times, a reduction to Beverage Alcohol pricing will directly flow to a restaurant’s bottom line and will have a significant impact to the weak profit margins experienced by Ontario’s foodservice operations, which currently represent the lowest in Canada. Ontario should follow the lead of British Columbia and support Ontario’s licensees by reducing beverage alcohol products by 20 per cent as compared to consumer prices. Not only is this a fair and ethical decision but it will greatly support the province’s restaurants in a very tough recovery journey. Read more.

Advocating for Hotel Eligibility for Ontario's Support Programs
Hotels in Ontario have been deemed an essential service and therefore have not been directed to close, however, with the provincial mandated restrictions including travel, gathering and indoor seating restrictions, many hotels sit empty or have performed with poor occupancies. Despite the severe impact to the accommodation sector, hotels have been omitted from being eligible to receive business relief support that has been offered to other businesses yet the sector has been one of the most hurt by the pandemic. Read more.  

Ontario's Financial Relief Opportunities for Businesses

ORHMA has compiled a fund summary of available relief opportunities that is currently available for industry to apply for. This summary can be accessed here.

ORHMA Calls On Government to Amend the COVID-19 Response Framework

As the Ontario Government is in gear to begin moving regions back into the COVID-19 Response Framework, ORHMA submitted recommended amendments to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Council of Medical Officers of Health (COMOH) and the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa). These recommended amendments include allowing establishments who are located in the Orange (Restrict) and Red (Control) areas to operate with a percentage calculation related to the total licensed seating capacity in order to support financial sustainability for the establishment while following distancing protocols. The recommendations also included an extension of the ending time to serve alcoholic beverages in order to have a third viable dinner seating. To read our full amendment recommendations, click here

ORHMA Submits Comments to Ontario's 2021 Pre-Budget Consultation
In anticipation of the upcoming provincial budget, ORHMA has submitted detailed recommendations in our 2021 Pre-Budget Submission to the Ministry of Finance highlighting many areas of potential support for Ontario’s hospitality industry. High in our Pre-Budget submission is Beverage Alcohol Wholesale Pricing and Property Tax.

  • Ontario should follow the lead of British Columbia and support Ontario’s licensees by reducing beverage alcohol pricing by 20 per cent. This is ethical, tangible and measurable right to the bottom line where it is desperately needed. It is a lifeline.
  • We also need to implement a workable formula for property tax payments knowing this is a complicated topic. The revenues are just not there to pay the high taxes. The owners need cash adjustments and need it now.
  • Furthermore, through government legislation MPAC needs to move quickly with a retroactive assessment of hospitality properties to capture the depressed business revenues of 2020.
To read our full 2021 Pre-Budget Submission, click here

ORHMA Advocates for Modifications to the COVID-19 Response Framework 

ORHMA has written to Premier Doug Ford on behalf of Ontario’s hospitality industry requesting modifications to the provinces COVID-19 Response Framework. Since the COVID-19 pandemic came upon us, the hospitality industry has been devasted. Hospitality businesses were the first to experience the negative impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and will be the last to recover.  The public health measures that are included in Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework single out the restaurant industry and repercussions will occur unless additional funding relief is presented or modifications to the framework are introduced immediately. To read the full letter, click here. 

Ontario Permanently Allowing Alcohol with Food Takeout and Delivery

The Ontario government has announced that they are making the sale of alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders permanent, a measure taken to support restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries who have been hit hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. On behalf of Ontario's hospitality industry, ORHMA was committed to advocating for this to be a permanent service. Read more. 

Operating During COVID-19: Rules & Regulations Explained

As your provincial industry association, we at the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) have been committed to addressing your questions and concerns in regards to the provinces COVID-19 Response Framework.

As a result, ORHMA has built a dedicated page for outlining the rules and regulations in the COVID-19 Response Framework and has organized it in such a way that provides clarity to our members. This page includes general public health measures that ALL businesses must adhere to regardless of the category they fall into. Following the general public health measures, these operating rules are divided into category based on the categories included in the framework. Read more. 

Hospitality Industry Businesses See Support in Canada's Fall Economic Statement

On November 30, Canada’s Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, tabled its Fall Economic Statement, which included support for our hospitality industry, including, but not limited to the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and an extension to the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) including rent support for those in control and lockdown areas.  Read more.

Province Proposes Cap on Delivery Fees to Support Local Restaurants

The Ontario government is introducing new legislation that would protect them from high delivery fees. The Supporting Local Restaurants Act, 2020, would cap fees charged by food delivery companies in areas where indoor dining is prohibited to help more small and independent restaurants stay in business. ORHMA has been challenging the high delivery fees set by third-party delivery companies in behalf of the restaurant industry in Ontario. We welcome this legislation as we continue to advocate for tailored industry relief especially through these challenging times. Tony Elenis, President and CEO of the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) says, “The vast majority of restaurants generate a profit of 2 to 3 per cent from delivery services, with many operating at a loss. The issue is disproportionately more punitive to smaller businesses. A permanent solution is required through a regulation that caps commission fees. We thank the Ontario government for their effort to regulate fees and provide some relief to restaurants.”  Read more. 

Adopting Technology and Tools to Improve Operations During COVID-19

During this exceedingly difficult time, it is imperative that operators take active steps to convey to the public that dining in their establishments is a safe and desirable practice. We have assembled a key list of such for you. While most have made considerable efforts overall and often investments in such visible tools such as plexiglass barriers and contactless menus, unfortunately there are some operators that may not be conveying that same degree of effort and which can impact perceptions of the industry in an unfavourable way. We are working hard with Government to get support for measures that they agree will improve the level of safety to ease restrictions. Whatever things you may have undertaken regarding Municipal and Provincial regulations, we encourage you to review the elements for providing and conveying a safe environment by adhering to the guidelines laid out in the DineSafe.ca guide and to undertake efforts to make your operation as touch-free as possible. Read more. 

Open Letter to Doug Ford to Save Ontario Restaurants

As Ontario continues to endure a second wave of COVID-19, restaurants are being singled out and deserve to understand why. An increasing number of jurisdictions are being targeted with heightened restrictions, including indoor dining closures. Yet no data has been provided that points to restaurants being the source of transmission

On behalf of Ontario’s vital foodservice sector, we are calling for:

• Clear and transparent data to understand what is driving government decisions related to dining restrictions.

• Consultation with industry to address any concerns identified by the data.

A collaborated letter initiated by ORHMA and supported by 35+ leaders of the foodservice community in Ontario has been shared with the Premier's office as well as the media. This initiative calls for the government to stop system wide closures and publicly disclose their transmission data while highlighting the significant investment in PPE and safety measures taken by foodservice operators across the province. To read the letter to Premier Doug Ford click here.

ORHMA Launches DineSafe Guide: A Practical Guide and Support Program For Re-Opening and Creating Guest Confidence

To understand how to best navigate this unprecedented time and support restaurant and foodservice operators, the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) has been working closely with industry leaders, government agencies, technology experts, legal advisors, and key supply partners. Together, they have developed best practices to help guide your safe and successful reopening.  Focusing on processes that protect staff and guests and exceed health and safety expectations, this guide aims to provide the roadmap to restaurant recovery. By following these recommendations, operators can each design safe, welcoming spaces that inspire public trust, so that the industry can not only survive but thrive. Visit DineSafe.ca 

Restaurants are NOT the Issue 

We want to ensure that you are kept in the know as we actively pursue government to show data and allow our restaurants to reopen. Hospitality owners, operators, managers and their front-line employees feel that restaurants are being wrongly singled out as an active source of the virus outbreaks. Health officials view restaurants as a forum for gatherings where people meet and the outbreaks transpire. Accessible data does not demonstrate the outcomes to be originating in the restaurant environment. In fact, a recent report released by Science Table identifies only 7.1% of outbreaks originated in restaurants and bars.

The following outbreak data showcases the following regions: Toronto, Ottawa, Peel and York. To see the source of the outbreak data, click here.

Ontario Releases 2020 Budget: Positive Impact to the Hospitality Industry

On Nov. 5, 2020, Ontario's Minister of Finance, Hon. Rod Phillips, released the 2020 Ontario Provincial Budget.

ORHMA's advocacy over the past few months has been impactful and we applaud the Minister and the Ontario Government for listening to our concerns and taking our advocacy into consideration in supporting Ontario's Hotels and Restaurants. 2020 has been a tough year with a long and painful road ahead for recovery. The Budget tabled sets the tone for success for those in the hospitality industry who face high expenditures and includes initiatives that are much needed.

On behalf of Ontario's hospitality industry, ORHMA thanks the Ford government for taking action in response to our concerns. To view complete highlights click here.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) Extended with Additional Support for Those Impacted by Mandatory Shutdowns

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a 65% subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.  In addition, businesses who were impacted by government implemented shutdowns will be eligible to receive an additional 25% subsidy. 

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more. Read more. 

Changes and Extension to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS)

Canada is increasing the maximum rate of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to 75% for the period beginning December 20, 2020 and extending this rate until March 13, 2021.   As a Canadian employer who has seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of your employee wages, retroactive to March 15, 2020. Read more. 

$600 Million in Relief to Support Ontario Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Public Health Measures

The Ontario government is now providing $600 million in relief to support eligible businesses required to close or significantly restrict services due to enhanced public health measures, doubling its initial commitment of $300 million made in the 2020 Budget, Ontario's Action Plan: Protect, Support Recover.

Businesses can apply online for temporary property tax and energy cost rebate grants from the province, via an easy-to-use one-window portal. The rebates will cover the length of time that a business is required to temporarily close or significantly restrict services as a result of being located in an area categorized as Red-Control or Grey-Lockdown, or previously categorized as modified Stage 2 public health restrictions. Most businesses can expect to receive their rebate payments within a few weeks of submitting a complete application. Read more. 

Ontario Releases Guide On How To Develop A Workplace Safety Plan

The province's COVID-19 Response Framework, announced earlier this month includes the requirement of a safety plan to be in place and available to be shown to health officials upon request. Among other businesses the plan is mandatory for restaurants, bars and food or drink establishments and meeting and event spaces. It also includes casinos.

A safety plan provides a documented approach to what your workplace needs to do and how you’re going to do it. Ontario has a guide for businesses on how to Develop Your COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan. Read more. 

COVID-19 Ministerial Sub Panel for the Foodservice Sector 
In May 2020, ORHMA was asked to assemble a Foodservice Sector Sub-Panel to provide government with recommendations in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry. This panel met several times to discuss a number of items and recommendations including rent, beverage alcohol, red tape reduction, patio space expansion and more. For the full list of recommendations provided in the Ministerial Sub-Panel for the Foodservice Sector report, click here.

ORHMA Advocates for Commercial Rent Eviction Protection

ORHMA, along with other like-minded business associations, urgently asked the provincial government to protect small- and medium-sized businesses from evictions by putting in place temporary commercial eviction protection for tenants who were in good standing with their landlords prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 25, 2020, an open letter to Premier Ford was sent on behalf of small-and medium-sized businesses sharing details of the economic destruction that the outbreak of COVID-19 has had on our industry and asking for immediate assistance.

Read the Moratorium on commercial tenant evictions for more details. This moved in favour of our industry as the government later announced proposed changes to the Commercial Tenancies Act that would temporarily halt evictions of businesses that are eligible for federal/provincial rent assistance. If passed, the legislation would reverse evictions that occurred on or after June 3, 2020. The government intends to bring this legislation forward as soon as possible. If passed, the proposed legislation would make it illegal to evict a commercial tenant until August 31, 2020. The government announcement can be read here.

Furthermore, while we are calling for a new rent program that works, we once again are asking for an extension to restricting evictions. Our recent letter to Premier Doug Ford can be read here.

ORHMA Presents to Standing Committee on Financial and Economic Affairs

Impact of COVID-19 on Ontario’s Tourism Sector

On Thursday June 4, 2020, Tony Elenis, President & CEO of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) spoke to the Standing Committee on Finance & Economic Affairs on the Impact of COVID-19 to Ontario’s Tourism Sector. As the industry was preparing for re-opening, the recommendations provided in this presentation included assistance with beverage alcohol pricing, expanding the qualification criteria for the Ontairo Energy Rebate, supporting positive changes to the Municipal Accommodation Tax (MAT) and more. To read further details of this presentation, click here.

Impact of COVID-19 to Ontario’s Small and Midsize Enterprises

On Tuesday August 18, 2020, Tony Elenis, President & CEO of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA) spoke a second time to the Standing Committee on Finance & Economic Affairs on the Impact of COVID-19 to the Small & Medium Sized Businesses of the Hospitality Industry. There is no doubt that the hospitality industry needs sector specific focus and support in order to recover as well as contribute to job growth and the economy overall. This presentation touched on a number of issues including: Labour & Workforce, Rent, Property Tax, Beverage Alcohol Fees, Beverage Alcohol with Delivery and Take-Out, as well as Patio Extension. To read further details of this presentation, click here. 

Extension to Outdoor Patio Spaces

After several recommendations to the provincial government, Restaurants and Bars are now allowed to extend an existing licensed patio, or add a new one, provided that the patio extension is adjacent to their licensed premises. ORHMA thanks the AGCO and municipalities for the cooperation and support. This will provide an opportunity for the public to safely enjoy service that meets physical distancing requirements and other public health guidelines. These opportunities are available to all licensed establishments, whether or not they currently have a patio, and will be subject to any additional requirements set out by the AGCO and municipality (such as bylaws or other restrictions). ORHMA is now pursuing to make the extension of outdoor patios permanent. Click here. 

Daily COVID-19 Screening Required in Ontario Workplaces

As of September 26, 2020, each Ontario workplace is required to proactively screen employees for related symptoms and risk factors prior to entry into their work environment. The screening process should include, at minimum, questions identified in the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Screening Tool for Workplaces. Click here. 

250+ businesses and associations join together to urge a halt to planned alcohol tax hike amid pandemic

ORHMA, along with other like-minded business associations, has joined a national coalition titled "Freeze It For Them" to fight tax increases which would raise beverage alcohol prices for Ontario’s licensee. "Freeze it for them" is supported by farming groups, bar and restaurant owners, tourism and hospitality associations, manufacturers, brewers, and industry representatives. More tax increases will set Canadian beer drinkers, bar and restaurant servers, and other industries hit hard by the COVID-19 economic crisis back even further.

As part of our involvement in this coalition, our members came together to join other businesses and associations to urge the Minister of Finance to halt planned tax hikes. Read more.

ORHMA Participates In The Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses

ORHMA, along with other like-minded business associations, have aligned and come together to form the
Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses, who are behind the need for support.  It comes at no surprise that this global pandemic has negatively impacted many sectors across Canada, but our sector specifically has been hit the hardest. Businesses in our hospitality industry, an industry whose core operation is about bringing people together, face to face, are in a crisis, with many not seeing revenue for over 6 months.  Businesses operating in Ontario’s hospitality industry continue to do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Although they are operating a controlled environment, businesses continue to face shut-downs and battle with gaining consumer confidence resulting in revenue and employment losses, with a tough road to recovery ahead.  Read more.

Ontario Unveils New Tiered System for Managing Shutdowns

Ontario has unveiled a new tiered system for managing COVID-19 shutdowns based on the trends of each public health unit. The new system will allow regions to gradually increase or decrease restrictions as needed. ORHMA has built a dedicated webpage outlining operating rules according to the Provincial government's COVID-19 Response Framework. 



 Missed Us Live? Catch Up on These Industry Webinars 

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Re-Opening Ontario’s Hospitality 

Destination Northern Ontario
Re-Opening Your Businesss in Halton 
Halton Region 

Tourism Business Recovery Forum
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