Canada Provides Relief to Small Businesses

The recent pandemic that has put the world into lockdown is having an impact on business the world over, and that has caused millions to be laid off from their jobs as employers deal with the inability to remain open resultant on orders issued from multiple levels of government.

After Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Federal $73-billion wage subsidy package and is waiting on its approval from Parliament, Trudeau is expected to announce additional measures that are aimed at helping companies to survive until such time as workplace restrictions are lifted, and normal business operations are allowed to resume.

During his daily briefings from his official residence, where Trudeau remains in isolation after his wife Sophie tested positive for the virus, it was anticipated that the Prime Minister would bring attention to the Canada Emergency Business Account. At the moment, Canada is proving backing for not-for-profit companies and small business loans up to $40,000 who have seen their revenue impacted as the economy comes to a near halt due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Those companies that qualify are requires to show proof that their annual payrolls were between $50,000 and $1 million last year. Credit Unions and banks began accepting loan applications of Thursday last week, and those who pay off the loan before the conclusion of 2022 will see one quarter of the amount forgiven.

The intention of the loans are to help small businesses and none profits with additional operational cash that can be used to keep the businesses alive until the wage subsidy program, a program that will cover up to 75% of a company’s payroll, comes into effect. Initially, this amount was only offering 10% wage subsidiary, but under pressure from other political parties, the Liberals did an about face and increased that to 75%.

During the last week, the Liberals were trying to get 100% support for that bill prior to having to recall Parliament where it can be passed within a few hours and therefore bypassing the typically lengthy process of legislation.

However, while the bill had a broad agreement between all concerned political parties, it was hampered down by negations as a result of the Conservative Party insisting that regular in-person meetings be held in the House of Commons. The conservatives want to ensure that the Liberals are held accountable while the country is in a health crisis.

Before press time, that issues were still unresolved. However, it was decided to move ahead with a sitting of the Commons where the Liberals are hoping the Conservatives, will relent and agree to quickly pass the wage subsidy bill. They then will meet at a later date to discuss the pressing issue of how Parliament will function during the pandemic crisis.