May 28th, 2021

Tax break for seasonal businesses needed as part of COVID-19 recovery

HALIFAX -- The Liberal government should help seasonal businesses to extend the time of year they are open as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery plan. The NDP tabled legislation in the spring to run a pilot project that would allow businesses to open year-round or further into the shoulder season without any increase in property taxes.

“As we start to look at reopening and economic recovery from COVID-19 it’s important that we target businesses and sectors that have been especially hard hit by the pandemic,” said NDP Business spokesperson Claudia Chender. “Local businesses that traditionally rely on tourists are now facing their second season impacted by COVID-19. This kind of targeted tax break may allow them to stay open longer and will help increase revenue and employment opportunities.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially tough on small, independent tourism operators. The current wave of COVID in Nova Scotia has already impacted the start of the tourism season. This pilot project would allow more businesses to operate later into the fall.

“Giving tourism operators a chance to extend their seasons, especially this year, is an important step on the road to recovery,” said Darlene Grant Fiander, President of TIANS. “By giving operators a chance to test the waters of opening for an extended season or transitioning to year-round operations would make a huge difference for businesses who have had serious revenue losses during the pandemic.”

Last year tourism revenue in Nova Scotia was only $900 million compared to $2.6 billion in 2019.