Granville Island’s businesses are receiving a much-needed financial reprieve from the dire economic effects of the health crisis.
The federal government has announced $17 million in emergency relief funding to help sustain the operations of the attraction and its businesses over one year.
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The island attraction — operated and managed by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation — is home to 300 businesses, comprised mainly of small independent businesses, and not-for-profit art and cultural venues. These businesses and organizations employ about 3,000 people.
The infusion in funding will provide rent relief for businesses financially affected by the crisis, and operating funding for CMHC Granville Island, which normally depends on rent and parking for its self-sustaining revenues.
Businesses and organizations on the island are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program. The tenants have been unable to receive the same assistance received by many struggling businesses as their landlord is a federal crown corporation.
According to a federal bulletin, the employees on the island are mainly artists, cultural workers, and retail, restaurant, and other service industry workers. On average, these workers earn 32% less than the overall workforce.