CFIB statement on details of Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy extension

Toronto, May 15, 2020 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is very pleased with today’s announcement by the federal government that it will extend the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) by three months to support businesses through the ongoing shut-down and the recovery phase.

As provinces are only now beginning to allow some small businesses to reopen, we can expect the economic effects of COVID-19 to last for many months. An extended and simplified wage subsidy will be an important measure in helping Canadian small businesses get back to health. If properly designed, this will be a major relief for tourism and other sectors who are expecting a very soft summer.

CFIB is also happy to hear that government is open to changes to the CEWS requirement to demonstrate a 30 per cent drop in gross revenue. This test is one of the reasons the take up of the program has been far less than expected and will cause a particular problem as we move to the recovery phase. CFIB will survey its members on additional changes and bring this information to policy makers.

However, it will be critical to continue the focus on the other elements of a successful recovery. CFIB continues to push for an expansion to the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and a major overhaul of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program.

Small business owners are eager to get back to business and get off the government subsidies they have had to rely on through the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we are not there yet. Today’s announcement – particularly if quickly followed by changes to CEBA and CECRA – will give many peace of mind that they will be supported through the upcoming reopening phase.  

- Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at