CFIB statement on today’s federal economic update

Toronto, November 30, 2020 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) welcomes today’s Federal Fall Economic Statement, and particularly the news that several changes and extensions were made to key COVID-19 support programs for small business. Highlights include:

  • An increase in the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to 75 per cent for the hardest hit small firms
  • An extension in both the wage and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) at current levels until mid-March
  • An extension in the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program until March 31, 2021
  • Confirmation that the $20,000 CEBA loan top up will also apply to the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF) program
  • A new program (Highly Affected Sector Credit Availability Program) to provide low-interest loans of up to $1 million to some hard hit businesses 

 These are welcome changes to key programs and will provide a greater ability to plan for the very uncertain next few months. Still, it is disappointing that government has not announced further fixes for new businesses and self-employed Canadians, who remain ineligible for nearly all of the key support programs. While we welcome the return to a maximum wage subsidy of 75 per cent, CFIB notes that a firm must have a 70 per cent loss in revenue to qualify for this amount compared to a 30 per cent loss during the spring lockdowns. Also, small firms desperately need to know when they can apply for the additional CEBA loans, which will offer another $20,000 loan of which $10,000 is forgivable. 

Taxes to go up on January 1
CFIB has asked the federal government to delay the upcoming Canada Pension Plan premium increase as small businesses are in no position to take on new costs at the start of 2021. CPP premiums will rise by 3.8 per cent and, for those at or near the maximum pensionable earnings of $60,000, they will see more than a 9 per cent increase in their premiums. The federal carbon tax is also set to increase at the start of the new year. 

These added costs will make it even harder for businesses to hire staff, make investments they have had to put off as a result of COVID-19 and get back to normal as quickly as possible. Delaying these tax increases should be a priority in the days ahead.

CFIB stands ready to work with the federal government to ensure all small firms can access the economic supports they need to get to the other side of the pandemic.

- Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB, 647-464-2814, 

About 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