Small businesses hope fiscal update will bring retooling of critical federal support measures

Toronto, July 8, 2020 – In advance of today’s federal fiscal update, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has shared a list of measures small businesses need to recover from the pandemic.

“Small businesses are facing a long, bumpy road ahead of them. In fact, 14 per cent are considering bankruptcy or winding down altogether,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “A retooling of many of the critical federal support measures is vital if we want to see fewer small business casualties from the economic crisis associated with COVID-19. Small firms also need government to move far more quickly in delivering critical program changes as tens of thousands are slipping through the cracks and not getting the support they desperately need.”

Yesterday, CFIB sent a letter to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, outlining measures to help small businesses hire back staff, deal with fixed costs and return to profitability, including:

  • Allowing more businesses to participate in the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) by removing or reducing the 30 per cent revenue drop test or by creating a sliding scale to allow those with lower revenue drops to access a smaller subsidy
  • Extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for Canadians out of work, but requiring recipients to be available and looking for work and ensuring benefits stop if an employee is offered their old job back or offered a new job
  • Raising the amount of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan from $40,000 to $60,000, increasing the forgivable portion from 25 per cent to 50 per cent, and allowing all businesses (including new firms and those with personal banking accounts) to participate
  • Getting the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) directly to the tenant, reducing the 70 per cent revenue loss requirement and extending the program through September
  • Changing federal messaging away from “stay home” to “safely return to work, shopping, recreation and regular business” and promoting small business at every opportunity

“Small business owners are worried that customers won’t come back quickly enough for them to survive the next few months. They need assurance that they will have support through the recovery phase to get back on their feet,” added Corinne Pohlmann, CFIB’s senior vice-president of national affairs. “We’re looking forward to today’s fiscal update and working closely with the federal government in the months ahead to advise them on the best support measures for small businesses.”

For more details, read CFIB’s letter on small business recovery. CFIB representatives are available to comment on today’s fiscal update.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

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