October 22nd, 2020
Gord Johns tells Liberals to keep promises on small business rent support
Weeks after the Liberal government announced changes to small business supports, NDP Critic for Small Business and Economic Development is calling on the federal government to table those supports.
“Yesterday the Liberals were ready to call a federal election, which would have left thousands of small businesses waiting even longer for the help they’ve already been promised,” said Johns. “What we need to see now is a small business relief package passed through Parliament so businesses can start getting the help they need to survive.”
Johns shared his concerns in the House of Commons on Wednesday night, highlighting that any commercial rent program must be tenant-driven, back-dated to March, and have lower loss thresholds so more businesses can apply. The Courtenay-Alberni MP pushed for a short debate on small business supports as part of Small Business Week, recognized from October 19-23.
“Business owners have been telling me their landlords aren’t bothering to help them, or they don’t qualify for help because the loss-threshold is too high,” said Johns. “The Liberals have left these people out.”
On October 9, the Liberal government announced several changes to their small business supports, including an extension to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and a modified commercial rent assistance program. But Johns says small businesses haven’t seen these supports yet, and the government must immediately introduce legislation to help businesses.
“This has to be fixed, and the sense of urgency could not be greater,” said Johns. The Liberals need to get some legislation tabled yesterday. I am glad that we voted not to send Canadians to an election and leave these small business hanging, they cannot be hanging on any longer.”