Opinion: NDP needs to take action to help struggling restaurants now

Dec 11 2020, 8:56 pm

Written for Daily Hive by Trevor Halford, MLA for Surrey-White Rock, BC

The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly difficult for so many of us, but our favourite local restaurants and pubs have been hit especially hard.

They need help now, before many end up closing their doors permanently.

Almost overnight, BC restaurants had to change how they operate and a lot of places turned to online delivery in order to stay in business.

But this hasn’t been an easy solution for restaurants, especially the smaller, family-owned ones, because big delivery companies are charging huge fees to use their services.

Our restaurant industry needs some relief, which is why I put forward a bill in the Legislature this week that would temporarily cap these fees at a lower rate.

Restaurants have had to reduce seating capacity, increase food delivery and takeout options, and take on additional costs for PPE supplies – or close their doors altogether.

We’ve heard from restaurant after restaurant who’ve said these added costs have been crippling in an already difficult year.

By putting a short-term cap on the fees that third-party delivery companies are charging restaurants, we can immediately provide some relief to these struggling businesses.

Reducing fees charged to struggling restaurants makes sense on numerous levels. The NDP promised to do this during the election, so there is no reason that they can’t make this happen while we are here in Victoria.

We all want to support local businesses right now. Capping additional costs like this to restaurants is an easy step the NDP can take to help those businesses right now.

Restaurants are struggling, and this common-sense solution will provide much-needed relief as we head into the holiday season, which would normally be their busiest time of year.

This holiday season, the industry and the people who work in our favourite pubs and restaurants can’t wait any longer for John Horgan to send some help their way.

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