Feds beef up support for businesses hit hardest by COVID-19

"This is not for everyone," says Canada's Deputy PM

Ottawa has vowed to hand down more support funding for small businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced updated supports for businesses on Friday, including the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy. It is designed to provide support directly to businesses and not their landlords. The funding is expected to help cover up to 65 percent of expenses or upwards of 90 percent of a business’ costs should it be shut down due to a public health order.

“We know this second wave will be even harder for those who get hit. That’s why our response needs to be targetted and effective,” Said Trudeau on Friday. “Small and large businesses create jobs, drive the economy and make our communities stronger. Our government will do whatever it can to support them.”

Trudeau says the Canada Emergency Business Account will also be expanded, including a $10,000 loan that could help businesses shut down due to health reasons.

“I want to stress that this is not for everyone,” said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. “Some businesses are able to work at full capacity despite COVID-19 and they are doing well, and that’s great. This support is not designed for them. These measures are targetted for those who need it most.”

“The difficult reality is that the health measures we are taking to contain COVID-19 mean that there are some businesses that cannot operate at full capacity, and some are closed down due to public health orders,” she added.

The federal government also announced Friday it would be extending its wage subsidy until December, for up to 65 percent of eligible wages.