Budget 2021 Highlights
Earlier this week on Monday, April 19, 2021 the federal government released their first budget in two years. This past year has seen unprecedented economic strain as we move through this pandemic. Many businesses have had to pivot on a dime both in time and cash. As fortunate as we have been in the NWT during all of this many businesses are still operating with restricted capacity but 100% of operating costs. Though there are many opportunities for rebound in the new federal budget there were also a lot opportunities of relief missed.
Overall, the 2021/22 Federal Budget provides the NWT with several opportunities to rebuild our economy providing the funding flows and flows through to those who need it. We are disappointed that there was no specific relief funding for the food and beverage sector (F&B) which is one of the hardest-hit sectors during this pandemic and have had the most closures. Though there have been a few pots that the F&B could apply to, specifically the Northern Benefit Relief Fund (NBRF) this has actually created further losses for this sector as the federal government required them to operate on a month to month break even after 3 months of no revenue and no end of minimal revenue. Funding pots like this need to request a business to operate on an annual break-even to avoid the evitable where many F&B had their small revenues earned over 3 months of a whole year, clawed back.