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COVID-19: SMEs call for new extension of federal aid

COVID-19: SMEs call for new extension of federal aid

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) on Tuesday called for wage subsidy and rent assistance programs to be maintained to help businesses weather the fourth wave.

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Those two programs that Ottawa put in place at the start of the pandemic are due to end on October 23, so even if the economy is still not operating at full capacity, only 40% of small and medium-sized businesses have regained their sales before the pandemic, according to CFIB.

“The end of the pandemic may be imminent, but many entrepreneurs are telling us that removing government aid at such a critical time in their recovery would be disastrous,” Yasmin Janet, vice president of national affairs at CFIB, said in a press release.

Thus, the CFIB is requesting that the rental and salary assistance programs for employees be extended through November 20. The organization also requested that these programs be improved and expanded to include new businesses created during the pandemic.

At the same time, the union is calling for changes to Canada’s economic stimulus benefits, which allow Canadians out of work due to the pandemic to earn a minimum income. CFIB believes this program is a great incentive for potential workers to stay home, rather than return to the workforce.

Many SMEs are still facing lower-than-normal revenue due to the pandemic as well as negative impacts due to ongoing restrictions on reception capabilities. SMEs do not expect the government to help them forever, but they must be supported until all restrictions are lifted and their activities fully re-launched.”

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