Vancouver, September 17, 2020 - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is concerned about the lack of short-term initiatives to help small and medium-sized businesses after reviewing the BC Government’s Economic Recovery Plan. The majority of programs focus on a medium to long-term picture for businesses, centered around growth instead of recovery. In addition, restrictive thresholds to a new loan program will exclude many businesses who need help.
“The intention to help small business is clear from the BC government. Under normal circumstances, the new initiatives would give BC businesses a competitive advantage and spur growth,” says Muriel Protzer, Senior Policy Analyst, BC and the North. “However, small businesses are in no position to create additional jobs or expand their operations. In summary, the BC Economic Recovery Plan falls short on the immediate needs of Main street today,” adds Protzer.
The BC government announced a handful of business-targeted initiatives which include:
- 15% tax credit on new payroll for low to medium-income jobs
- 100% PST rebate on machinery and equipment for businesses expanding operations. The program runs until September 2021
- $30,000 small and medium-sized business recovery grant program. Eligible businesses must have 50% revenue loss and can demonstrate a viable path forward
- $10,000 additional loan top-up for tourism businesses
- $100 million in funding to support the tourism industry
CFIB has advocated for a provincial loan program for small businesses since the beginning of the pandemic. However, as structured this program will not reach all who need it. CFIB survey data shows 22 per cent of BC SMEs are making 50 per cent or less in revenues than usual this September. However, the loan’s restrictive nature will exclude an additional 24% of businesses who are making 50 to 75 per cent of normal revenues.
“CFIB strongly encourages the BC government to rethink the design of its loan program. Expanding eligibility could help thousands of more businesses who desperately need help. Even as mandated business shut-downs are lifted, small business owners are struggling to pay off debts and piling bills,” says Protzer.
For a full list of CFIB’s recommendations on economic recovery, see Small Business are the Building Blocks of BC’s Recovery.
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Muriel Protzer, 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 cfib.ca.