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

Just Posted

Copper Point Golf Course copes with COVID-19 safety measures

General manager says golf is one of few sports where implementing safety measures is fairly simple

Freshwater turtle sightings

Stewardship group wants to know where you’ve seen turtles in the Columbia Valley

Radium author launches book

Radium Hot Springs author Brent Lea launches thriller set in the great outdoors of southeastern B.C.

Helping our community during COVID-19

A high school student’s perspective

The buoys are back in town

Watershed Wanderings column by Lake Windermere Ambassadors

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read