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(TORONTO, ON - April 2nd, 2020) – Today, the Windsor Arms Hotel, in partnership with Cerise Fine Catering, delivered 500 boxed lunches to first responders at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto, with an additional 1,000 snacks prepared for the University Health Network to support health care professionals on the frontline battling the COVID-19 crisis.

First responders and health care professionals will be delivered a free boxed meal designed by Executive Chef, Shawn Whalen of Cerise Fine Catering. Whalen is 1 of 5 Master Chefs in Canada and the only one in Toronto. 

 “As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, those not involved in the medical field may feel an inability to help. The Windsor Arms Hotel and Cerise Fine Catering wanted to do our part in supporting first responders through this challenging time,” said George Friedmann - President of Windsor Arms Hotel. 

“We’re proud to help the city combat this crisis by providing our brave medical professionals with a meal or snack so that they can focus on what’s most important saving lives," remarked Mateus de Campos – General Manager of Cerise Fine Catering

 
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Phoenix, Arizona (March 20, 2020) –In the face of the biggest economic crisis the hotel industry has ever faced, Best Western Hotels & Resorts (BWHR) is taking steps to ease the financial burden for its hoteliers during this challenging time.

Committed to its loyal BWHR family and understanding the tremendous hardship COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is having on its hoteliers, their employees and their families, BWHR’s Board of Directors and Executive Team have implemented unprecedented measures to afford its hotel owners (members) much-needed relief through May 2020. These measures include:

  • Waiving one half (1/2) of Monthly Fees.
  • Waiving one-half (1/2) of Property Revenue Management Fees.
  • Reducing Best Western Rewards® (BWR®) loyalty point fees charged to members by one-half without lowering points awarded to loyalty program participants.
  • Increasing by 50% hotel redemption compensation for BWR loyalty guest stays.
  • Waiving in entirety BWHR co-op marketing fees.

Recognizing the debilitating impact on hotel revenue and the immediate need to conserve use of capital, BWHR is delaying certain fees until November. The company will also offer extensions to its members related to BWHR’s various programs, enabling hotels to focus on the health and welfare of their guests, associates, families and communities. 

Of note, recognizing that BWHR is a family that unequivocally supports one another through difficult challenges, the company’s Board of Directors and Executive Team voluntarily reduced their compensation by 20%.

“I am proud that our Board of Directors and Executive Team have implemented measures that will provide immediate relief to our hoteliers,” said Peter Kwong, Chairman of the Board, BWHR. “In the coming weeks as this crisis unfolds, we will continue to listen to the voice of our hoteliers and respond to their struggles in meaningful ways.”

“The impact of this global pandemic has been devastating to the livelihood of our hoteliers, their families, and the employees who depend on them,” said David Kong, President and CEO, BWHR. “At BWHR, we are truly a family that stands together, shoulder to shoulder, during a time of crisis. In coming together, not only will BWHR weather this storm, but our nation and industry will emerge stronger than ever.”

BWHR has also extended support to its valued guests by protecting the elite status of its BWR members. All BWR members worldwide have been granted elite status extension through January 2022 without needing to fulfill the necessary qualifications. Status will be maintained for all members regardless of their current tier, ensuring both new and veteran members are protected at this time. BWR is the only industry loyalty program where points never expire, meaning members are not impacted by unpredictable circumstances that could prevent them from using their hard-earned points.

Additionally, BWHR has amended its cancellation policy to afford more flexibility to those whose travel plans may have been impacted by COVID-19. Effective through April 30, 2020, guests with existing reservations for any future travel date may cancel with 24 hours’ notice for a full refund.

To learn more about BWHR, visit: www.bestwestern.com

 
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April 7, 2020

Dear Members,

Last week we shared with you that on Friday, the Prime Minister announced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, which is designed to subsidize 75 per cent of wages for “qualifying businesses.”

Monday, qualifying businesses were defined and includes ALL hotels small, medium, and large, as long as their revenues have decreased by 30 per cent as a result of COVID-19.

The subsidy will cover 75 per cent on the first $58,700 of a person’s wages and it will be backdated to March 15.

We will update you as soon as additional information on access to the subsidy is available.

Summary of the week’s advocacy announcements:

Deferred GST & HST payments, duties and taxes on imports until June 2020

  • This is equivalent of providing up to $30 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian businesses. 
  • Deferred payments to allow businesses to have more liquidity on hand to survive the financial impact of COVID-19.
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy - up 75% of wages

    • The government’s previously announced wage subsidy of 10% has been increased to 75%. Qualifying businesses will include all hotels that have seen a 30 per cent decline in revenue. 
    • CEWS will cover 75% of first $58,700 of workers’ salaries, or up to $847/week.
    • This subsidy will be available for up to three months and retroactive until March 15, 2020, allowing members to keep or potentially re-hire laid off staff. 

    New Access to Credit through Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program 

    • The government announced $12.5 billion of additional support and access to credit through EDC and BDC to help small and medium-sized enterprises with cashflow requirements through the new small and medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program. 
    • Businesses can apply for a guaranteed loan through their banking institution to access this additional financial support. 
    Loans of up to $6.25 million will be made available to small and medium-sized businesses in Canada directly through their financial institutions.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account

    • Banks will offer $40,000 loans, guaranteed by the government, to qualifying small businesses and loans will be interest-free for the first year. Qualifying businesses must have payrolls of greater than $50,000 and less than $1 million.
    • If certain conditions are met, a 25% loan forgiveness will be available (up to $10,000).
    • Loans will be available through eligible financial institutions and will be fully guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada.

    We continue to work hand in hand with our Provincial and Federal Associations to ensure we can represent our industry with a clear message and one voice. 

 
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AUSTIN, TEXAS, USA (April 2, 2020) — In response to the guidance for slowing the spread of Covid-19, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) restructured its 2020 event calendar, moving early 2020 events to the second half of the year, and co-locating them for one eventful week. First it rescheduled the North American Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) to October 26-29, 2020, originally set to take place in June. Next, the association relocated its Annual Convention, which was already scheduled for that month, to San Antonio from Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. It will run October 27-29. In addition, HFTP will hold the annual Club Forum and the startup pitch competition Entrepreneur 20X, both on October 26 in San Antonio.

“HFTP is geared to support the hospitality industry with a network of expert resources and education as it begins the process of recovery from the economic impacts of the current pandemic,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE, FIH. “Providing the ‘Best and Brightest of HFTP’ week will bring together a broad range of stakeholders to share smart, strategic ideas and tools.”  

HITEC San Antonio will continue to offer the same opportunities it annually presents, which has made it a must-attend event for the hospitality industry. Attendees can expect a four-day education program planned and presented by industry experts. In addition to the education program, HITEC San Antonio will feature an exhibit hall hosting over 300 companies. The companies display a range of products and services to support the hospitality technology industry.

The HFTP Annual Convention is the association’s premiere educational and networking event, which also honors HFTP members and the association’s accomplishments. The program features a variety of education sessions focusing on industry finance and technology topics. As a benefit to this year’s unique scheduling, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in several HITEC functions, including attending some of HITEC’s keynote and general sessions, Opening Party and exhibit hall. The Convention will also host its own table top exhibits and food service area especially geared to the Annual Convention attendees called Convention Corner.

"Annual Convention attendees tell us that networking is one of the most important parts of the event,” said Linnet Baskett, HFTP Director of Club Engagement. "Because of the economic impacts on our attendees, we have made some significant changes to help minimize costs and increase networking opportunities. Integrated into the regular program will be awards and buffet networking lunches served in the Convention Corner. In addition, we have switched from formal nighttime activities to topic-focused afternoon meetups and changed the closing membership celebration to a closing reception."

The Annual Convention will still include great speakers and a variety of solutions to everyday industry problems. However, the focused schedule allows attendees to shorten their trip one night with the added value of a reduced registration cost: from $850 to $595 for early registration.    

On October 26, HFTP will host two specialty events: the Entrepreneur 20X startup pitch competition and the Club Forum. Entrepreneur 20X features ambitious entrepreneurs presenting breakthrough business concepts to a panel of expert judges. The competition is open to all HITEC and Annual Convention attendees. That same day the HFTP Club Forum will run, a one-day seminar designed to share ideas and discuss hot topics in an environment created to solve problems and discuss best practices.

For more information about HITEC and HFTP's other international activities, contact the HFTP Meetings & Special Events Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.hftp.org and www.hftp.org/hitec.

 
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April 7, 2020

The Canadian Hotel Advisor Collective was jointly formed by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP, Cassels, Brock & Blackwell LLP, CBRE Hotels, CFO Capital, Colliers Hotels, Cushman & Wakefield, HVS and JLL and supported by Big Picture Conferences as a response to the impact of COVID-19 on firms and to act as a centralized source to filter, funnel and direct timely, useful information for industry stakeholders from industry stakeholders during this difficult time.

Initially, we look to accomplish this through recurring informational webinars and a dedicated website with the latest hotel research, data and best practices to help industry participants navigate the daunting business and operational challenges posed by the novel coronavirus. By drawing on our deep hotel industry knowledge and comprehensive network of relationships both nationally and internationally, we hope to bridge valuable information that owners, operators, brands, lenders and government are searching for and provide expertise and insight.

As a collective, we stand by our clients, partners and friends who are facing an unprecedented challenge and together are expressing the support of each of our firms.

We are here to help.

By the end of this week we will have the CHAC website up and running where you will be able to find industry information gathered by the collective. 

www.canadianhoteladvisorcollective.com

Procurement

Hotel owners and operators should be aware that the Government of Canada is seeking, on a priority basis, a number of services that hotel owners may be uniquely positioned to provide. These include food services, laundry services, and accommodation maintenance services. This could provide an important revenue enhancement opportunity for owners who are experiencing a loss of revenue due to the current situation.

Hotel owners are encouraged to go visit the website www.buyandsell.gc.ca and submit their capacity and region with respect to the COVID-19 notice of priority procurements.

 

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