The Downtown Stratford Business Improvement Area says businesses aren’t out of the woods yet and they need a little more time to pay back Canada Emergency Business Account loans.
The $60,000 interest-free loans were offered to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with the deadline to pay them back now sitting at January 18th, 2024.
Local BIA officials say Stratford was one of the hardest hit areas with pandemic-related closures because the city depends so much on tourism and 15 businesses in the city have closed so far this year, many because of mounting debt.
BIA General Manager Jamie Pritchard says they have sent a letter to officials including Perth-Wellington MP John Nater asking for an extension on the deadline.
“I do think it will have some impact but the collective value of all of the organizations that are advocating I think collectively it will definitely make a difference.”
The letter has been endorsed by Stratford City Council and will also be sent to all 444 municipalities across the province.