RCC Supports Budget’s Recovery Hiring Program

A program that helps retailers who are planning on expanding their workforces and increasing hours makes sense during the COVID-19 recovery period, says the Retail Council of Canada (RCC). It identified that as one measure in the 2021 federal budget which recognizes the financial and operational challenges faced by retailers during the pandemic and in the recovery. The ‘Canada Recovery Hiring Program (CRHP)’ will help transition workers back into the economy and away from income support programs under EI and CRB and to have businesses build up their workforces. As an extension of the main business support programs CEWS and CERS, it is also pleased to see those programs extended until September 25, but notes support levels will decline especially during the last four weeks of those programs. “Our caveat is that the pandemic has had differing effects across our sector, with some merchants seeing far deeper reductions in revenues and, thereby, requiring longer than others to recover,” says RCC, and these supports may need to remain in place longer for those most adversely affected. It is also pleased to see the inclusion of a commitment to address excessive credit card interchange fees, on which RCC has taken a firm position on the need for regulatory measures. A reduction in credit card fees is especially important to retailers in consequence of the COVID pandemic, having faced a dramatic increase in costs given the rise in online shopping and the declining use of cash.