Toronto mayor John Tory is asking landlords to work something out with small business tenants to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Tory, one of the most frequent requests for help he get comes from small business tenants.
“They are scared they can’t hang on and the rent that is payable is one of the biggest factors,” said Tory on Saturday.
“I am calling for a team effort to help them get through this crisis. Landlords, please sit down and work something out with your small business tenants. Maybe no rent now and spread a payment or two out over the period after the crisis.”
I am calling for a team effort to help small business tenants get through the #COVID19 crisis. Landlords, please sit down and work something out with your small business tenants. pic.twitter.com/3KeCTNF1Nc
— John Tory (@JohnTory) April 4, 2020
Tory said the city of Toronto has deferred payment of commercial taxes and utilities for 60 days to allow time to work some of this out.
“I believe the province should ban evictions of these small businesses during the crisis as they have done for residential tenants. And the federal government could look at backstopping landlords who help,” he added.
“A team effort will help the shops and restaurants we love to survive and to be back in business with all the jobs they create as soon as this nightmare is over.”
Nearly 300,000 jobs have been lost in Ontario’s food service industry in the last month, while almost 10% of the country’s restaurants have closed for good.
This is according to Restaurants Canada, an organization that represents the nation’s food service industry.
Restaurants Canada estimates that 800,000 food service jobs have been lost across the country due to the pandemic.
As of 12:30 pm on April 3, 986 cases of COVID-19 have been reported to Toronto Public Health.