Toronto, November 24, 2021 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is disappointed the federal government has not changed the 40 to 50 per cent minimum revenue loss requirement to access small business support programs which means most small businesses will be cut off from accessing them. CFIB is pleased that the government has added many sectors to its list of those that can access the more generous Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, such as gyms, arts and recreation and wedding/events.
This is not the comprehensive change needed to help small firms make it until all COVID-19 restrictions end. Small businesses are still in a precarious position—61 per cent are not back to their pre-pandemic revenues, and among them, 22 per cent say they can survive less than six months at their current level of revenue loss.
Under the government’s new programs, hospitality and tourism businesses will need to see a revenue drop of 40 per cent and all other businesses a 50 per cent drop in order to access rent and wage subsidies. Many businesses will find themselves unable to meet the revenue loss criteria but also unable to hold on for long without support.
CFIB is urging the federal government to ensure the federal support programs work for small business owners. Critical changes include:
- Lower the threshold for all wage and rent supports (Tourism and Hospitality & the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Programs) to 10 per cent as is in place for the Canada Recovery Hiring Program.
- Raise the wage/rent subsidy levels for all businesses to the formula used for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program (1 per cent subsidy for every 1 per cent drop in revenue from 10 to 75 per cent).
- Include new businesses that started after the pandemic began in all business support programs.
- Offer additional funding through the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan, increase the amount forgivable, and delay the repayment deadline to the end of 2024.
- Dedicate the $1 billion in funding promised to provincial governments to implement vaccine passport systems to the small business owners required to implement these systems.
Small business owners can sign CFIB’s petition calling on the government to extend the federal support programs at cfib.ca/covidpetition.
-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 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.