Frontier Duty Free Association applauds Canadian Government support for the Hardest Hit sectors

The Frontier Duty Free Association (FDFA) has applauded the Canadian Federal Government’s long-awaited Fall Economic Statement released this week which centers around support for Canada’s hardest hit businesses.

The FDFA joined together with the Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses earlier this year in an effort to obtain much-needed relief for its land border members, whose business was decimated by the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

FDFA Executive Director Barbara Barrett said: “We are pleased to share that there were a number of targeted support measures announced that will be of meaningful benefit to the duty free industry.”


These include:

  • The creation of the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) – a new program for the hardest hit businesses.
  • Increasing the maximum wage subsidy rate to 75% for the period beginning December 20, 2020 and extending this rate until March 13, 2021.
  • Providing a top-up of up to $500 million to Regional Development Agencies and the Community Futures Network of Canada. The government will earmark a minimum of 25% of all the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund’s resources to support local tourism businesses, representing $500 million in program support through June 2021.
  • $181.5 million in 2021-22 to the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts to expand their funding programs to support the planning and presentation of COVID-19-safe events and the arts — including both live and digital — and to provide work opportunities in these sectors.Working with industry to prevent the closure of unique and irreplaceable flagship events and festivals across Canada, and to ensure the survival of key, globally-recognized assets in this sector. 

    The Coalition of Hardest Hit Businesses issued the following statement in response to the Fall Economic Statement:

    “We are delighted to see that the Government has heard our concerns and is providing targeted support measures for the hardest hit sectors, as outlined in the Fall Economic Statement. Businesses in the tourism, travel, hospitality, arts, festivals and events sectors are unique and remain in crisis as we continue to face necessary public health restrictions.” Extending the current subsidy rates of the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for an additional three periods until March 13, 2021.