Mayoral candidate Jan Damery pitches help for Calgary restaurants, live music

The Damery campaign said it's the first pillar of their economic plan for Calgary

Jan Damery, a mayoral candidate for the 2021 municipal election, recently announced plans for her Jump-Start for Jobs program. CONTRIBUTED

Calgary mayoral candidate Jan Damery wants to fork over cash to help ailing restaurants and live music performers, to the tune of $52.7 million.

One part of Damery’s economic plan, announced Monday, would use the surplus from 2020 to invest in Calgary’s post-pandemic recovery.  Damery announced her candidacy for mayor earlier this month.

“We cannot undo the harm that individuals and businesses have experienced over the last year. But we can be a catalyst for a better future,” Damery said, in a prepared media release.

“Post-COVID, we must rebuild our economy, ensuring that local businesses have a chance to thrive and that our city is vibrant and accessible.”

According to the Damery campaign, some of the incentives from the program would include:

  • Lowering the barrier to entry for trialing new restaurant concepts and incentivizing the start-up of restaurants in under-used spaces. 
  • Providing additional funding to be split between landlords and restaurateurs to incentivise new permanent tenants who license and open a restaurant. 
  • Covering 50 per cent of the cost of hiring live performance artists, which will attract Calgarians and visitors to Calgary’s bars, restaurants, and other music venues. 

The plan includes $10 million for restaurants, $5 million for live music and performances, and $36.5 million for other initiatives. Administration costs for the program are an estimated $1.2 million.

“Post-COVID, we must rebuild our economy and ensure that local businesses have a chance to thrive,” said Damery. 

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