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Toronto Mayor John Tory is calling on upper levels of government to provide additional economic support for downtown businesses affected by COVID-19.

In a statement today, Tory says there is “increasing concern” among business leaders and others about “the future of downtowns in major cities across Canada.”

He’s asking the federal and provincial governments to take a number of steps to protect businesses _ particularly ones facing a slow recovery, such as hotels and restaurants.

In a letter to federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, Tory asks the Liberal government to launch a review into reviving main streets and downtown cores, especially as people work from home.

He’s also calling for the replacement or extension of several federal programs introduced during the pandemic.

In a separate letter to Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips, Tory urges the provincial government to help hotels and attractions — as well as keep municipal finances afloat — through property tax deferrals.

“Carefully done and targeted, additional investments in businesses now will save jobs, will preserve businesses and will ultimately speed up and strengthen our recovery. That in turn will allow us to fix our public finances faster,” Tory said in a statement.

Neither Freeland nor Phillips could immediately be reached for comment.

September 13, 2020

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