Canadian Federation of Independent Business surveys small business confidence, in a March 25, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

Editor’s note: Since this article was published, the federal government has updated the wage subsidy program to encompass businesses and charities of all sizes. The new information is available here: Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes

Small businesses will now be able to receive up to 75 per cent in federal government funds in order to keep paying their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic – up from the previously announced 10 per cent subsidy plan.

During his daily news conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Friday, March 27, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a suite of new measures to support small business.

“Small business owners and entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy and make our communities better places to live – but they’re facing difficult decisions and are worried about the coming months,” Trudeau said.

In addition, under the new Canada Emergency Business Account, storefront businesses will also qualify for up to $40,000 in loans which will be interest-free for one year, with up to $10,000 forgiven, he said. Business owners will have until June to pay GST and HST payments while taxes on imports will also be suspended.

Trudeau said that this is the equivalent of $30 billion in loans, interest free.

The subsidy is only available to Canadian-controlled private corporations or businesses who are paying salary, wages, bonuses or remuneration between March 18 and June 20. .

READ MORE: How to apply for employment insurance

“We hope these new measures will encourage employers who felt forced to lay off their employees to keep them on the payroll, and for those who did lay off their employees will hire them back,” he said.

Last week, during the unveiling of the $82 billion in relief to those hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Trudeau announced a 10 per cent wage subsidy for businesses. On Friday, he said government officials have heard from business owners that that isn’t enough.

The increased subsidy will be retroactive to March 15. Finance Minister Bill Morneau wouldn’t confirm whether the wage subsidy would have a cap, saying more details will be rolled out soon.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce called the subsidy boost “exactly what the doctor ordered.”

The announcements comes as the Bank of Canada implemented an unscheduled cut to its bechmark interest rate, bringing it down to 0.25 per cent.

Trudeau said further details on how the new supports will be implemented can be expected by Monday.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

True crime podcaster on mid Island inspired by case of missing Island woman

‘Island Crime’ Season 1 covers 2002 disappearance of 21-year-old Lisa Marie Young

Alberni Valley Community Foundation releases second round of emergency funding

The Alberni Valley Community Foundation will provide $75,000 to support local charities… Continue reading

Port Alberni’s Cruise for Care returns for encore

Car enthusiasts will honour frontline workers Friday, May 29 on route through city

Accident, downed power lines closes Highway 4 west of Port Alberni

Detour is available near Hector Road as BC Hydro crews work to restore power

Huu-ay-aht First Nations qualify for national wage subsidy

Limited partnership structure caused concern when CEWS was first introduced

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

28 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in ong-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

Most Read