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

District of Kent reopening facilities to the public

Enhanced COVID-19 protocols in place throughout

Pedestrian struck in late-night collision on Highway 1 in Hope

RCMP were on scene at the incident near Flood Hope Road where traffic was rerouted for eight hours

District of Kent Council: Additional Notes

Further agenda items from the May 25 meeting

Police say Chilliwack driver who flipped car on overpass Sunday was impaired

Witnesses say rollover incident was preceded by vehicle and motorcycles speeding all over town

Chilliwack teachers and EAs concerned with health and safety plans

As schools get ready to open, many worry measures won’t be enough to protect students from COVID-19

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Most Read