REAL relieved after City Council increases debt limit

Regina City Council approved increasing the debt limit for Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) by $8 million.

REAL’s debt limit will now be $21 million. Council also approved giving the company $700,000 yearly to help pay off debts.

REAL CEO Tim Reid says he’s happy to have the city help out during what’s been a devastating time for the event industry.

“The effects of COVID have just been devastating on our business and we were one of the first businesses to turn off, and we’ll be likely one of the last businesses to turn back on,” said Reid. “We just appreciate council’s willingness to support us in managing through recovery, even though so much is uncertain in these times.”

Reid says REAL stands to lose $5 million in 2020 after the cancelation of events like the Grey Cup, and the Queen City Ex.

He adds the increased debt limit will allow REAL to keep operating through 2021.

“It really will get us through 2021, it makes sure that we have funds available. We haven’t been in a position where we’ve to draw upon our borrowing often,” said Reid. I don’t think there’s any concerns about our business continuing to operate, it’s more of a matter of just having the funds should something critical occur and we have to respond quickly.”

Reid says while it’s nice to have the money, he is hoping they don’t have to use it.

“It’s really intended to help us navigate the uncertainty of COVID-19 and frankly, the ever-changing public policies and restrictions,” said Reid. “The purpose of this is, once we get back to regular business, if we haven’t needed to draw fully into the $8 million, our goal is that we’re not going to use it unless we need it.”

More from 620 CKRM