Manitoba's restaurant operators left with little to celebrate in 2010 budget

WINNIPEG, March 23 /CNW/ - After surviving a difficult year in 2009, the Manitoba government has left restaurant operators with little to look forward to in 2010.

"Manitoba Moves Forward," the 2010-2011 budget document, boasts $14 million in new tax savings for business, including the elimination of the Small Business Tax later this year. Unfortunately, any tax reductions for business owners are going to be short-lived.

"Any tax reduction is good news for business operators in Manitoba. But instead of rejoicing, foodservice operators are bracing for the impact of yet another minimum wage increase," says Courtney Hirota, Manitoba-Saskatchewan Vice President with the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). "We have seen a disturbing pattern emerge in Manitoba over the past few years: Any tax gains that operators make are quickly washed out by increases to labour costs."

In 2009, two increases to the minimum wage cost Manitoba foodservice operators approximately $16 million in additional labour costs. The anticipated 2010 increase will quickly eliminate any tax relief announced in today's budget.

Manitoba's 2,200 foodservice establishments directly employ more than 38,000 people, making the industry one of the top five private sector employers in the province.

CRFA is one of Canada's largest business associations, with 33,000 members representing restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and other foodservice providers. Canada's foodservice industry employs more than one million people in communities across the country.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information: For further information: Courtney Hirota, CRFA Vice President Manitoba-Saskatchewan, (204) 688-8557 (cell) or chirota@crfa.ca


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