Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association

Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association

March 31, 2010 15:50 ET

Minimum Wage Increase Adds To Small Business Woes

Attention: Business/Financial Editor, Food/Beverage Editor, News Editor, Travel/Tourism Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO, PRESS RELEASE--(Marketwire - March 31, 2010) - The ORHMA understands the McGuinty Government's desire to freeze government labour costs. The Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) represents 11,000 establishments across Ontario. As a strong voice for these largely small businesses, the ORHMA has called upon government to work with small business as a partner. The ORHMA does not understand why the McGuinty Government gave itself the cost containment tool of freezing wage increases yet would not extend that same option to the accommodations and restaurant sector.

The McGuinty Government's increase in the Minimum Wage comes into effect today. Despite massive opposition as well as a compromise proposal calling for a phased in approach the increase will become the law in Ontario today. Struggling small and medium sized businesses had hoped for compromise. Raising the minimum wage in this economy will result in staff cutbacks and fewer work hours. Cutting back on staff is counter to our goal of good customer service.

The ORHMA is disappointed in the increase in the Minimum Wage. The ORHMA provided examples of real concerns with simply implementing a minimum wage increase. The ORHMA offered the McGuinty Government options to consider instead of an across the board increase in the minimum wage that would have eased the burden on the accommodations and restaurants sector after years of setbacks have left the industry struggling to survive.

Today's increase in the minimum wage comes at the worst possible time for small and medium sized businesses. The list of setbacks for the accommodations and restaurant sector in Ontario includes 911, SARS, NHL strike, H1N1, the global economic setback and a chronic shortage of skilled labour. If small business is the engine of our economy then we must act to get that engine going and ensure that these small businesses make it through these challenging times.

Every day, in every corner of Ontario, workers go to their jobs in our industry hoping for a brighter tomorrow with renewed prosperity. For these mostly small businesses, labour is the most expensive component of their costs. Raising the minimum wage has increased not lessened the burden our members and their families face each day. With the HST being implemented on the first day or our busiest season, new regulations coming into effect over the next couple of months, there is little upside to 2010 for the accommodations and restaurants sector.
/For further information: Peter Adams (available for interview)
Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association
T905-361-0268 or 1-800-668-8906

Contact Information

  • Peter Adams, Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association
    Primary Phone: 905-361-0268 ext. 325
    Toll-Free: 800-668-8906
    E-mail: padams@orhma.com