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Saskatchewan economy faces more uncertainty with possible Grey Cup cancellation

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Saskatchewan’s economy could face another major hit due to the uncertainty around the 2020 Grey Cup.

Hosted in Regina in 2013, the Grey Cup brought in $93 million to the province. This year, Tourism Regina projected the event to bring in around $95 million of economic activity.

But last week, the CFL announced that it’s very unlikely the football season will go ahead this year. If that’s the case, it also means no Grey Cup.

While it’s not set in stone, John Hopkins, Regina & District Chamber of Commerce CEO, says cancelling the event would mean restaurants and hotels would feel the brunt of the loss.

“Any kind of major event coming to the city, it has an impact in terms of ensuring that viability of a lot of businesses, particularly when you think about hotels. They need these major events to fill rooms,” Hopkins said.

“When we don’t have these types of events, it makes it more challenging and has an impact in terms of the viability of the business.”

Bushwakker Brewing, meanwhile, says a cancelled season could cost the pub tens of thousands of dollars.

“In 2013, we saw people in our brewpub from all over the country wearing their home province or city’s team jerseys beginning early in Grey Cup week,” the pub told Global News in a statement.

“Additional staff were brought in to meet the increased demand and there was an incredible feeling of celebration and national pride throughout the brewpub all week long. For Regina to lose the opportunity to host the 2020 Grey Cup is both a huge financial and emotional blow.”

However, if there is a CFL season, it won’t start until July at the earliest — inevitably costing teams money, too.

But Regina sports columnist Murray McCormick says the Saskatchewan Roughriders are in a better position than most.

“The fan base helps a lot and it’s helped build up that sort of a nest egg that allows (the Riders) to move forward and not be as worried as other teams are,” McCormick said.

McCormick added that at the end of the day, Saskatchewan will host a Grey Cup. If the 2021 Grey Cup goes to Hamilton as planned, he said, Regina could see the big game in 2022.

“All the plans aren’t being pushed aside or wasted because the Riders right now are continuing to work under the assumption that there’s going to be a Grey Cup,” McCormick said.

Regardless, Regina city council has already committed $1,000,000 to this year’s Grey Cup, with another $600,000 for police enforcement.

“We’ll see where it goes from here, but we did commit that and we may get some of that back or all of it,” Mayor Michael Fougere said.

Despite the challenges that come along with a cancelled event, Hopkins says it comes down to safety.

“Yes, the economy is absolutely vital and we need to make sure there is some sort of balance there and I think that’s where we are right now, is trying to balance the needs of the economy- the needs of people going back to work with the safety of people,” Hopkins said.

“There’s going to be some time that has to go by before we get to the other side of this and that’s just where we are in this point in time and none of us could have foreseen this happening and we are all trying to do this together.”

Many Sask. restaurants might permanently close due to COVID-19 – Owner of two Regina restaurants says business is down 90%

Many Saskatchewan restaurants have temporarily closed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether they’ll be able to reopen when restrictions are lifted remains uncertain.

The province suspended all dine-in service in March, forcing some restaurants to go takeout-only, while others shuttered — some temporarily, some permanently.

Tony Yang owns both Tipsy Samurai and Wann Izakaya in Regina. Wann is still open for takeout and delivery, but he said business is down between 80 and 90 per cent herunterladen.

“Basically what we’re doing right now in one week is what we’d normally do in two, three days,” said Yang. “Moneywise, it’s really tight right now. We have to cut a lot of costs. We have to try to save every penny we can.”

Tipsy Samurai, a newer Japanese gastropub in the city’s east end has shut down all business during the pandemic. Yang hopes it will reopen someday, but he said he’s not sure if that will be possible.

He said about 25 employees have been laid off between both locations and some of his kitchen employees are now working as delivery drivers.

With last month’s income, Yang said Wann is just breaking even. He has pushed some bills and is working every day to cut down on labour costs.

He said he’s staying afloat through government subsidies and a break on rent.

“It’s just really hard for a small business like me to make any profit anymore. Basically we’re in survival mode right now.”

Dining in will be allowed in phase three of the province’s reopen plan, but restaurants will only be allowed to operate at half capacity. The date for that phase is not yet set and is dependent on the success of the first two phases.

Yang said 50 per cent won’t allow for enough customers to make a typical profit, and without help from the government and his landlords, he might be worse off. He said he would still need almost a full staff and would have to limit people’s dine-in time.

John Hopkins, CEO of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, said it’s not surprising that some businesses won’t survive the pandemic.

“This is a very, very serious challenge that we face economically in this country. We have a health challenge and, no question about it, health is number one, but the economic challenge is enormous in this country and we’re seeing the impact of that now.”

Restaurants Canada says Saskatchewan establishments are set to lose up to $450 million this quarter. The non-profit organization recently surveyed restaurants in Western Canada and found that about 70 per cent of owners fear they will not be able to pay rent or supplier costs in the next three months.

Restaurants Canada said Saskatchewan’s $2.4 billion food service industry prior to COVID-19 represented three per cent of the province’s GDP and was the third-largest private sector employer.

Twenty-five thousand jobs have been lost in Saskatchewan’s food service industry due to the pandemic, it said.

Yang said he hopes local business owners receive more support going forward, both from the government and customers.

“I hope everything goes back to normal, like the way it was before,” Yang said. “But I know that’s maybe a long way to go.”

Sask. increases infrastructure investment by $2B to aid economic recovery

Michaela Solomon Digital Content Producer

May 6, 2020

REGINA — The Government of Saskatchewan announced a $2 billion increase in infrastructure investment over two years, to assist economic growth following damage done by COVID-19.

The investment is a two-year capital plan, with a total investment of $7.5 billion with the increase announced on Wednesday afternoon.

“This is a $2 billion economic booster-shot over and above the $5.5 billion our government had already planned to invest in capital projects over the next two years and will be an important step in our province’s economic recovery,” Premier Moe said.

The package includes the $2.7 billion Crown and executive government capital spending from the government’s 2020-21 estimate, as well as the $2.8 billion projected for next year.

The government says the increase in investment will help balance the need for “smaller, short-term projects” to help kick-start the economy, and get people back to work. These projects are expected to leverage several job sectors in the coming years.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the provincial economy was already facing headwinds through depressed resource prices, anti-pipeline policies and rail blockades,” Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association President Shantel Lipp said bewerbung anschreiben kostenlos herunterladen. “The announcement today will mean a big boost in the arm not only to the construction industry but to the province as a whole.”

Allocation of additional $2 billion

  •  $1.37 billion for large projects, including $103 million for health, $110.5 million for education. Projects to be ready to begin by 2021-22.
  •  More than $300 million for highway projects including surface upgrades and passing lanes, including $46 million for upgrades to city roads and airports
  •  Roughly $181 million for renewal projects, including $100 million for health, $25.9 million for education with the remainder going to various other projects in other ministries.
  •  $150 million in per capita payment via a new “Municipal Economic Enhancement Program” to support projects in communities across the province.

“The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is very pleased that the province has made the Infrastructure Stimulus announcement today,” SARM President Ray Orb said. “Investing in municipal infrastructure projects will help rural municipalities in rural Saskatchewan and will certainly help the provincial economy to recover.”

Allocation of $2.7 billion in capital funding

  •  $130 million will go toward seven new schools and three school renovations including a new joint-use school in Harbour Landing in Regina and a joint-use consolidation of Regina’s St. Peter, St. Michael and Imperial Schools. Other projects include St. Frances in Saskatoon, the consolidation of Princess Alexandra, King George and Pleasant Hill schools in Saskatoon, and a new school in Carrot River.
  •  $142 million for health care capital spending including $15 million to support expanding the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital, $15.7 million to continue building a 72-bed long-term senior’s facility in Meadow Lake, and $4 million for diagnostic imaging including $2 million for a new CT scanner in Melfort.
  •  $377.5 million for transportation, including $357.6 million for 1,000 kilometres of highway improvements, $65 million for the “Enhanced Infrastructure Safety Program”, $19.9 million for municipal infrastructure.
  •  $165.7 million for municipal infrastructure comprised of transfers to municipalities including the Gas Tax Fund ($62.6 million), Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program ($56 million), New Building Canada Fund ($45 million), transit assistance for people with disabilities ($0.8 million), Communities in Transition Funding ($0.7 million), and Clean Water and Waste Water Fund ($0.6 million).”

“We’ve been advocating for years for the development of a provincial infrastructure program, and we’re extremely pleased to see our provincial government implement one to help our economy recover in these challenging times,” Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association President Gordon Barnhart said.

“We salute the government’s funding for a myriad of projects throughout the province and in particular funding that we will see here in the Queen City for much needed infrastructure improvements be they within hospitals, education facilities, roadways and or many other areas of need,” Regina & District Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hopkins said.

Re-Open Saskatchewan plan opening is what the province needs according to Regina & District Chamber of Commerce CEO

Regina, SK, Canada / 620 CKRM The Source | Country Music, News, Sports in Sask
Mitchell Blair

It is a day that the CEO of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce says we are ready for.

John Hopkins says it is a plan the government feels safe in doing because of what Saskatchewan people have done over the past number of weeks to flatten the curve.  He says those efforts need to continue now and moving forward.

“The last thing we want to do is having gone through all of this over this time and all of the pain we have gone through together as a province and then we have to shut down again and do it all over again.” Hopkins said. “That is not what we want.  What we want is for people to remain vigilant and keep doing what we have been doing.”

Hopkins says the re-open plan brings excitement and optimism to business around the province, but that optimism is “cautious optimism” because of the conditions that still exist.

Coronavirus: Saskatchewan government commits $1M to campaign supporting local business

The Saskatchewan government said it is committing $1 million to support a province-wide marketing campaign encouraging people to support local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding is being given to the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, which will work with other regional chambers, to expand its “Together We Stand” initiative throughout the province.

“Encouraging Saskatchewan residents to buy local is a great initiative of the business community that we are pleased to support during this unprecedented difficult economic time,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said.

“This consumer campaign to support local businesses, led by the Regina chamber and to be shared across our province, will help connect consumers directly with Saskatchewan businesses during the ongoing pandemic, throughout our economic recovery initiatives, and for the long-term.”

The province said it believes the campaign helps “bridge the gap between consumers and businesses in the province, keeping the economy moving” especially during the coronavirus pandemic, a message supported by the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce Open office free download full version german windows 10.

“There are a number of ways residents can support local businesses here, and that’s true for people supporting their local businesses right across Saskatchewan,” Regina & District Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hopkins said.

“We thank the government for their strong support and continuing partnership with our business community on this ‘Together We Stand’ campaign and other key projects to keep Saskatchewan working.”

Harrison said local businesses are a huge part of the province’s economy and is important to show them support.

“In communities right across Saskatchewan, local businesses have been there to sponsor local sports teams, community events, fundraising efforts and other initiatives,” Harrison said.

“Now is the time for us as a government and residents, if they are able, to be there to return that support.”

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Regina & District Chamber of Commerce
2145 Albert St.
Regina, SK
S4P 2V1

Phone: (306) 757-4658
Fax: (306) 757-4668


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