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Deadline looms for restaurant rebates
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 17 février 201
Photo Anja Karadeglija
Hatem Shayeb and Lin Peichan, restaurant owners in CDN, have to replace their old cash register in order to install the SRM machine.

Côte-des-Neiges is home to many small, independently-owned restaurants, which are likely to feel the financial pinch of a law requiring them to keep track of sales.

By November, all restaurants in Quebec must install devices that record all sales. The devices won’t work with some old cash registers, though, which means that some restaurants have to invest in new ones in order to install the machine.

“They should have thought about the consequences for small merchants,” says Hatem Shayeb, co-owner of Chez Frida, a small Mexican restaurant on Côte-des-Neiges Rd.
He says he has been waiting to upgrade to the new system because the switchover is simply too expensive for him. Shayeb has been told that the machine, called a sales recording module, or SRM, won’t work with his old cash register. “It will cost me around $2,000, so that’s huge – that’s why I’m not applying right now. I’m still thinking about it. I don’t even have $2,000 to buy it right away,” he explains.

Restaurateurs like Shayeb who are faced with having to replace old cash registers are better off getting the new machines before March 31.

The subsidy program run by Révenu Quebec will give $1,053 for the first SRM machine, but it also subsidizes equipment that must be installed in order for the SRM to work, like cash registers and receipt printers.

If restaurants activate the SRM machines before March 31, they will receive an 80 per cent rebate off the additional equipment, up to a defined maximum, but machines activated after that date will only be eligible for 40 per cent.

A few doors down from Shayeb’s restaurant, Le Béarn restaurant has already activated their SRM.

Romana Kalvas, one of the owners at the family-run European eatery, says that the restaurant also had to buy a cash register, which ran them more than $6,000.

“We started six months ago, and it’s not easy when you start – you spend so much money for the decor, you have to change things, so this is extra money,” she said. “I think the government should trust the restaurant business more, because we’re really trying our best.”

In order to receive the rebate, all subsidy applications have to be in by Dec. 31, 2011.

[ Anja Karadeglija ]

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