Vancouver, May 11, 2021 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) appreciates the BC government has taken into consideration the fragile state of BC’s small businesses in its emergency COVID-19 sick leave coverage. The BC government incorporated CFIB’s recommendations into its BC paid sick leave program, mainly that this program is temporary, funded by the provincial government and workable for businesses. It is critical that the reimbursement of 3 paid sick days, at $200 per day, is paid back to employers quickly and they are not having to wait weeks for the reimbursement.
“Small businesses understand the need for workers who contract COVID-19 or develop symptoms to rest, isolate and recover,” said Annie Dormuth, provincial affairs director. “This is essential to overcoming the pandemic and getting to a position where business can fully open and operate. Today’s announcement attempts to strike the right balance of allowing paid sick days while also not imposing additional costs on BC small businesses at a time when they can least afford it.”
Analysis from the CFIB shows the average BC small business has added more than $138,000 in debt, and only 37 per cent are making normal sales for this time of year. More broadly, the recovery of private sector employment continues to lag the public sector throughout the province.
“CFIB is concerned about the government’s intention to introduce permanent sick days once the program ends after December 31, 2021. Small businesses are now seeing a glimmer of hope of when they can resume their operations without restrictions. The economic recovery of small businesses still remains uncertain and asking for their feedback on taking on additional costs right now is bad timing,” concluded Dormuth.
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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, including 9,000 in British Columbia. 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.