Federal Government Closing Down Support Too Soon for Business – CFIB Dan Kelly

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Dan Kelly

Thunder Bay – BUSINESS – The Canadian Federation for Small Business says that the federal government is moving too fast to close down needed supports for business.

CFIB President Dan Kelly says, “The window is starting to close on the federal government’s crucial small business support programs, despite only 35 per cent of businesses being back to normal sales, warns the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In addition to closing the critical Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program last month, the government has already started the phasing out of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)”.

CFIB has launched a petition to halt these reductions.

“Small business owners are keen to replace subsidies with sales, but with only a third of business owners back to normal levels of sales, it is just way too soon to phase out the wage and rent subsidies. The government has already started to aggressively cut these important supports just as many are in the process of reopening their doors or facing ongoing capacity restrictions,” adds Kelly.

CFIB is hearing from many business owners, including tour operators, travel agents, events, arts and entertainments businesses, reporting they will not see their business revenues return until 2022.

Maximum Subsidy Amount

Jun 6-Jul 3

Jul 4-Jul 31

Aug 1-Aug 28

Aug 29-Sep 25

After Sep 26

CEWS (wage)

75%

60%

40%

20%

0

CERS (rent)

65%

60%

40%

20%

0

CFIB is calling on the federal government to keep the subsidy programs at their June subsidy levels and extend them until the economy is fully open before the next planned decrease. CFIB is encouraging business owners to sign the petition or contact their MPs before August 1st (when applications for the July period open) and urge them to:

  • Extend CEWS and CERS until November (at minimum)
  • Maintain CEWS and CERS rates at June levels
  • Ensure all independent businesses, including new firms, have access to these supports

“While these programs are costly, it is important to keep in mind that businesses who no longer need support will not be eligible anyway as the subsidies are based on a sliding scale tied to their loss in revenue,” Kelly noted.

“After 16 long months of the pandemic, restrictions are finally being lifted, but for many small businesses it’s not over yet. It’s critical that we come together at this time, with a federal election looming, to ensure that the support programs are there to get us to the COVID finish line,” concluded Kelly.