Toronto, July 8, 2020 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is disappointed that today’s economic and fiscal snapshot from the federal government did not provide details on how the federal aid programs will be retooled for economic recovery. This was a missed opportunity to share details on much needed changes to the existing programs that still exclude too many.
While the government’s investment of an additional $50 billion in the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is welcome news, we are already several days into the latest 28-day period for July with no details of how the new rules will work. It is hard for CEWS to do its job if employers don't know if they qualify for July.
The snapshot also revealed that only $221 million, less than 10 per cent of the money allocated, for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program has been used. Many businesses in dire need of rent assistance have been shut out of the program and may have to shut their doors as a result.
In addition, businesses with personal savings accounts and newer firms are still waiting for the promised expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include them. CFIB has also asked the government to increase the amount businesses can borrow under the program from $40,000 to $60,000 and increase the forgivable portion to 50 per cent, as the initial amount is simply not enough four months into the economic crisis.
Small businesses were further hoping government would announce its intention to postpone scheduled tax hikes, including the federal carbon tax and CPP expansion planned for early next year. The government also needs to put forward a plan to transition workers from the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to the wage subsidy as a step towards unsubsidized employment.
The economic and fiscal projection released today is dire and it underscores the toll COVID-19 has taken on small businesses. They need assurance that the government is focused on recovery and will be swift in enacting measures that will support them. Certainty is a cheap stimulus measure that can help many businesses. Today’s fiscal update was a missed opportunity to provide some certainty to small business owners.
- Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
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 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.