May 1st, 2020
NDP demands federal government action to save small businesses
With rent due tomorrow, business owners are facing tough decisions about their futures
For the second time since the COVID 19 shutdown began, rent is coming due but the federal government has still not delivered on their commitment to help those in need. This week, NDP critic for Small Business Gord Johns wrote again to the Minister responsible asking the government to open up programs that have been announced so that help can get to more small business owners, the self-employed and sole-proprietors.
Johns also reiterated the NDP’s call for the government to work with the provinces and territories to put a moratorium on evictions before it's too late.
“Many sole-proprietors still do not qualify for business supports because they do not meet the restrictive payroll requirements, they rely on contract workers, are family-owned, or pay themselves in dividends,” said Johns. “Instead of building programs to help everyone in need, the government has designed the current programs to exclude those who need help the most. Changing the qualifying conditions would mean that these small businesses could get the help they need.”
New Democrats are calling on the government to modify the qualification criteria for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to be based on gross revenue instead of payroll so that businesses that rely on contract work can apply. They have also asked the government to work with financial institutions to offer scaled loans and non-repayable grants for businesses at different levels of development and need in order to allow businesses who currently don’t qualify to receive support based on their specific needs.
“Small businesses provide crucial community services, add to the vibrancy of their communities, ensure that money stays in the local economy, and contribute to the well-being of their neighbours,” added Johns. “If sole-proprietors are not able to get support, not only will they be forced to shut down, but their communities will suffer as well.”