To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on businesses around the world would be an understatement. According to the Department of Finance Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic led the Canadian economy into its steepest and quickest contraction since the Great Depression. Consequently the federal budget tabled Monday, April 19, 2021 by the Honourable Chrystia Freeland was very much anticipated. As the first federal Budget in two years, it contains significant new spending and initiatives.
The association and not-for-profit industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Essential business meetings, conferences and events keep our operations running, and drive the budget of many organizations. Despite the uncertainty and challenges, Redstone has seen firsthand how quickly associations have adapted to find creative solutions to benefit their community and/or industry. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) has also played a vital role in the longevity of associations. This subsidy has supported operations despite significant decreases in revenue. We were pleased to hear about the proposed extension of the CEWS until September 25, 2021. Additionally, the government has proposed extending the application deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to June 30, 2021. We’re also pleased to see the government’s proposed investment of $400 million in a Community Services Recovery Fund. This investment supports non-profits and charities adapt and transition to this “new normal”.
According to Meetings Mean Business Canada, in 2018, business events had a direct spend of $33 billion. In addtion they were responsible for 229,000 direct jobs and contributed $19.3 billion of direct GDP. It’s evident business events are a crucial part of Canada’s economy and to support in tourism revitalization. The budget proposed the following:
- Investment of $1 billion in tourism over three years.
- Investment of $200 million to support local festivals, community cultural events, heritage celebrations and more.
- Establishment of a $500 million Tourism Relief Fund.
Even prior to COVID-19 we prided ourselves on being tech savvy, digital natives but throughout the pandemic. Redstone aggressively leaned into the digital event space – see more about our story of resilience. With digital technology no longer being an option, but an absolute necessity, we welcome the government’s plan to implement a new Canada Digital Adoption Program to support more than 160,000 businesses with new technology costs.
As a women-led business, Redstone is encouraged to hear the announcement of an investment of up to $27.2 billion over 5 years in childcare. In addition, we are pleased to hear the government’s commitment of $200 million to create a new Black-led Philanthropic Endowment Fund.
Below are a number of other key highlights from the budget:
- Introduction of the new Canada Recover Hiring Program that would offset a portion of the extra costs employers take on as they reopen (up to 50%), either by increasing wages or hours worked, or hiring more staff.
- Budget 2021 proposes to invest $239.8 million in the Student Work Placement Program in 2021-22 to support work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students.
- Budget 2021 proposes to invest $371.8 million in new funding for Canada Summer Jobs in 2022-23 to support approximately 75,000 new job placements in the summer of 2022.
Redstone Agency is committed to the health and safety of our team, all our clients and event participants. As more details on the relevant programs are announced, we will proactively ensure you are utilizing any beneficial and relevant government programs in place. If your organization does not have a plan and would like support in developing one, don’t hesitate to reach out.