Restaurant industry welcomes federal budget tax relief, access to credit



    OTTAWA, Jan. 27 /CNW/ - Tax relief for consumers and businesses, along
with better access to credit for restaurant owners, is welcome news for
Canada's foodservice industry in today's federal budget.
    The foodservice industry, which employs more than one million Canadians
and generates just under four per cent of the country's gross domestic
product, is expecting a 4.6 per cent real decline in sales in 2009 due to the
slowing economy, according to a forecast by the 33,000-member Canadian
Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA).
    "Putting more disposable income in the hands of consumers, reducing the
tax burden on small business owners, and allowing credit-worthy restaurant
businesses to access much-needed lending are positive moves for our industry,"
says CRFA's Vice President Labour and Taxation, Justin Taylor.

    
    CRFA strongly supports the following budget measures:

    -   The increase in the Basic Personal Income Tax exemption and the
        Working Income Tax Benefit, which will increase disposable income for
        low-income Canadians and help restaurants by encouraging more people
        to enter and remain in the workforce.
    -   The steps the government has taken to increase access to credit for
        restaurants by increasing the maximum loan guarantee under the Canada
        Small Business Financing Program and by increasing lending through
        the Business Development Bank of Canada.
    -   Increasing the small business tax rate threshold from $400,000 to
        $500,000. This allows more small businesses to take advantage of a
        lower income tax rate.
    -   The steps the government has taken to ensure unemployed Canadians
        have access to the EI benefits they need without increasing costs for
        employers. CRFA is concerned, however, that increased costs to the
        program caused by rising unemployment will lead to higher EI premium
        rates in 2011 once the premium rate freeze is over.
    -   The federal government's continued support for apprenticeship
        programs through increased tax credits for businesses that hire
        apprentices through the Red Seal program.
    

    Restaurant owners are disappointed the government did not act to rein in
rising credit card fees.
    "While the government has taken steps to protect consumers from predatory
practices of credit card companies, they must remember that businesses are
consumers of these financial products as well, and must take steps to ensure
that fees charged to businesses are fair, transparent, and predictable," says
Taylor.





For further information:

For further information: Justin Taylor, Vice President Labour and
Taxation, (416) 649-4214 or jtaylor@crfa.ca; Jill Holroyd, Vice President
Research and Communications, (416) 649-4217 or jholroyd@crfa.ca


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