Toronto, December 14, 2021 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is pleased that several of its key recommendations were addressed by today’s economic update from the federal government, but cautions that small businesses will need more support as they face new uncertainty with the rise of the Omicron variant.
It is particularly good news that the government has announced it will extend the repayment deadline for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program. CFIB has urged the government to delay repayment for CEBA to the end of 2024, as only 36 per cent of businesses have returned to normal sales and many are struggling with their COVID-related debt. The extension on the deadline to apply for the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP) is also positive, but CFIB calls on government to include a forgivable portion to the HASCAP loan like it has for the CEBA loan to address the debt loads of the hardest-hit businesses.
While the fiscal update outlines additional dollars for business support programs, it does not fix the problems with the wage and rent subsidy programs contained in Bill C-2. Under the proposed rules, 80 per cent of small firms in need of additional support will no longer qualify for any wage or rent help. CFIB urges 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. New businesses that started after the pandemic began should be allowed to access all business support programs.
CFIB encourages the government to find other ways to keep the cost of doing business from increasing, such as freezing the January 1 hike in CPP or introducing a 50:50 split between employers and employees for Employment Insurance.
The pandemic continues to exert immense pressure on small businesses, so CFIB is pleased to see commitments from the federal government to return $200 million in carbon tax revenues to small businesses and farmers, tackle supply chain challenges, refund businesses for air quality retrofits, and accelerate immigration processing.
- Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
- Corinne Pohlmann, Senior Vice-President, National Affairs
- Jasmin Guenette, Vice-President, National Affairs
For media inquiries 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 e