Toronto, December 17, 2021 – While the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is pleased that the federal government has passed Bill C-2 into law allowing some businesses to receive ongoing pandemic support, we remain deeply concerned that the majority of small firms in need of help will not qualify. The Tourism and Hospitality Recovery and the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Programs can be vital lifelines, especially as businesses in many sectors face renewed uncertainty and possible additional restrictions with the rise of the Omicron variant.
A full 80 per cent of small firms in need of financial support will no longer qualify for wage or rent subsidies due to the new programs’ high thresholds. CFIB is urging the federal government to lower the threshold for all wage and rent supports and raise the subsidy levels for all businesses to the formula used for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program. Businesses that started after the pandemic began should be allowed to access all federal support programs.
CFIB is also concerned about the adoption of Bill C-3 which mandates 10 employer-paid sick days for employees of federally regulated businesses. Only 36 per cent of small businesses have returned to their pre-pandemic sales levels, and one in five (22 per cent) of those who haven’t say they can survive less than six months at their current level of revenue loss. Border closures, new or rumoured capacity restrictions, and vaccine passport requirements all ensure that most of those businesses will not see normal sales levels for many months. They simply cannot take on additional costs at this time.
As long as there are COVID-related restrictions imposed on their activities businesses should have access to government support programs and governments should do everything possible to avoid imposing cost increases.
Small business owners can sign CFIB’s petition calling on the government to extend the federal support programs at cfib.ca/covidpetition.
- Corinne Pohlmann, Senior Vice-President, National Affairs, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
- Jasmin Guenette, Vice-President, National Affairs
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 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 cfib.ca.