As this turbulent and tumultuous year comes to a close, SHMA would like to reflect upon the events we have witnessed in the past year and the strength and resultant successes that have benefited us, from the work with the BCHA and HAC together with your ongoing support.
In March of 2020 we launched our first iteration of our website and received some very positive feedback from our members and the City of Surrey. We have been proceeding towards an Memorandum of Understanding with City of Surrey for the Sports Surrey action strategy in order to build additional sports groups and event volumes for the City of Surrey. This will translate into additional “heads in beds” for our Surrey hotel and motel partners. Our board will be reviewing the final draft of the MOU with the intention of securing funding for this initiative, to support the membership vision of festivals and events, driving additional occupancy to the City of Surrey.
With the late March onset of the pandemic our business fortunes substantially changed. Yet in the face of adversity our hospitality and travel community has shown tremendous resiliency.
In May of 2020 the Provincial Municipal and Regional District tax of 3% was established and we expected to see some modest income, from the Aug 22, 2019 LOU with Discover Surrey that was to provide 0.8% of the MRDT funding to SHMA. Since September 2020 your board of directors has been working to verify the additional details required to receive this funding.
To date a 5 year strategy was prepared in October 2019 as was a 1 Year tactical strategy. These strategies were updated in November 2020 at the request of the City of Surrey to commensurate with reduced expenditure levels coinciding with the anticipated reduced MRDT due to lower room revenues. A follow-up meeting with the City of Surrey and Discover Surrey is scheduled for mid-January 2021 and we are hopeful that a resolution will be completed at that time.
The provincial Health Orders (PHO) along with border closures have had a disproportionately large negative impact on the hotel and tourism business in this province. As an industry we will continue to be challenged due to the travel restriction as well as lack of group gatherings. The good news is that the Surrey/Langley market continues to outperform the overall Greater Vancouver market (source CBRE Hotels’ Trend in the Hotel Industry National Market with reproduction and use of information subject to CBRE Limited Disclaimer.)
Avg. Daily Rate
Revenue per Available Room
We have witnessed the joint impact that the collective voice in our industry can have with provincial and federal governments. Our intent in 2021 is to continue to work in a positive fashion with the City of Surrey and all hotel and motel partners in promoting Surrey Hotels and Motels as an excellent value added alternative and the City of Surrey as a great destination for events and festivals. Keep an eye on our website for upcoming information on SHMA member hotels’ participation in joint promotions, sales trips and industry trade shows. Here is to a wonderful 2021!
Best of the Season, Be Safe and Be Healthy, Stay Well
John Kearns, Chair
Surrey Hotel & Motel Association
As you’ve likely heard in recent member meetings and in email communications, the SHMA has almost completed it’s full website update, which boasts many new features and information for event planners and coordinators to find the information they’re seeking when looking for a destination and hotels to host their events. We’ll be presenting you with an advanced look at the website in the coming weeks.
Of note, you’ll find your property listed with information sourced directly from your website. If you have updated information that you’d like applied to your property page, we encourage you to take 5-10 minutes to fill out this Google Form with as many details as you have available for the SHMA team to accurately update your listing. By completing your listing you are helping the SHMA better promote your venue to both small and large scale event planners.
Do you have great photos or videos of your hotel / motel? The SHMA is seeking visual assets from all members for use in the promotion of your venue, and Surrey overall. Assets will be used on your property listing, and may also be leveraged for the SHMA website, social channels, and newsletters.
Note, by uploading any images you are giving the SHMA the right to use these images in their website and other marketing material.
Please try to upload images smaller than 50 MB in size.
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) – Update from Hotel Association of Canada
Last month the Prime Minister announced the legislation required to launch the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) program has been passed. Hotels and motels can now apply for this non-repayable relief through the following Canada Revenue Agency application portal which can be accessed here. Qualifying organizations whose claims successfully clear the CRA’s automated verification system and that are registered for direct deposit should expect to begin receiving payments starting immediately.
We are pleased that this program will now be available to hoteliers, which includes mortgage interest support until June 2021 as well as support for additional fixed costs including insurance, property tax, and other municipal taxes. The maximum base rate subsidy will be available to those with a revenue drop of 70% or more, and will then decline based on a sliding scale. More details here.
The passed legislation also confirms the extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program until June 2021, the rate freeze of the maximum subsidy at 65% until December 19, 2020 and changes to the top-up calculations (details can be found here).
We are extremely pleased with this progress which is coming at a critical time for our smaller owners. In total this program will deliver a cash injection of up to $1B into the industry between September 2020 and June 2021. This, in addition to the wage subsidy of 65% will provide meaningful support until the summer for the majority of our owners.
We remain acutely aware of the limitation on this program for our larger owners – those with 4 properties or more – for whom this program will have limited impact. We are actively working to address this.
In addition, we are also focused on ensuring that the Government maintains this strong support until the Summer. Though the legislation allows these programs to be extended, the subsidy details have not yet been released past December.
We will continue to keep you updated as new information becomes available.
The B.C. government has enhanced the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program to make it easier for businesses to qualify and has increased support for those in the hard-hit tourism sector.
The program is part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The plan outlines the latest steps the Government of British Columbia is taking to help people, businesses and communities come out of COVID-19 stronger and better prepared.
Adjustments made to the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program include a streamlined application process and simplified criteria. For example, the criteria has been expanded from a minimum revenue drop of 50% to a drop of 30%. This change will allow more businesses to be eligible. Additionally, the previous three-year operation requirement has been reduced to 18 months. This means businesses only need to have been in operation nine months before the pandemic to apply for the grant.
Businesses impacted by the pandemic will be eligible to receive a grant up to $30,000. The grant for the tourism sector has been increased, meaning those hardest-hit businesses in the tourism sector will be eligible for a grant up to $45,000.
The BCHA has continued to work with all levels of government, along with their key partners and industry stakeholders, to support the needs of the industry. Below are the results of their most recent industry pulse check survey for November.
Based on feedback provided, the advocacy priorities are as follows:
Extending the Wage Subsidy
Property Tax Relief
Status of Hotels in BC
72.37% of hotels are either operating at reduced capacity or closed due to the travel restrictions
38.15% of hotels have lost between $10K – $500K due to travel restrictions
59.86% of hotels have lost between $500K – $5m due to travel restrictions
46.5% of hotels cannot continue without additional relief measures by April
46.5% of businesses will not be able to stay solvent without government relief funding
7.9% of hotels have 30-60 days of liquidity
40.1% have 3-6 months of liquidity
49.3% of hotels do not qualify for the small & medium size business relief funds