Toronto, July 9, 2021 – Finally! The world’s longest lockdown here in Ontario is set to end. This is a meaningful step forward and the first sign of light at the end of the tunnel for tens of thousands of small business owners.
While this is good news, for those businesses that face capacity restraints and other restrictions this will not put them on a pathway to breaking even after accumulating an average of over $200,000 in COVID-related debt. They will have to wait until early August for a full reopening under the new plan to move to step 4.
We urge the Ontario government to introduce a third round of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant with expanded eligibility to capture the sectors that were crushed by the province-wide stay-at-home order but left out of provincial support programs, such as dry cleaners, and restaurant suppliers. Businesses were locked down for months longer than the government anticipated during the third wave and received almost no financial support. It is critical that a third round of Small Business Support Grant funding be made available to all businesses that face any capacity restrictions preventing them from serving their customers.
Reopening is a start, and today’s announcement is significant, but it will not put small businesses on an immediate pathway to profitability. The healthcare crisis created by COVID-19 will likely end far before the economic crisis that came along with it. Businesses need additional provincial and federal support to help ensure a safe and stable reopening and recovery.
-Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
-Ryan Mallough, Senior Director of Provincial Affairs for Ontario
-Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs for Ontario
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, including 38,000 in Ontario. 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.