Feds urged to stop ‘aggressively’ cutting wage and rent subsidies to small business owners

Only 35 per cent of small businesses are back to normal sales, warns CFIB

The voice for small independent business owners in Canada says the federal government is phasing out COVID-19 wage and rent subsidies despite only 35 per cent of businesses being back to normal sales.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says the feds have already started to “aggressively” cut crucial support programs.

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program was cut last month and the government has already started phasing out of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS).

“While these programs are costly, it is important to keep in mind that businesses who no longer need support will not be eligible anyway as the subsidies are based on a sliding scale tied to their loss in revenue,” said CFIB President Dan Kelly.

Ther CFIB has launched a petition to halt these reductions.

“Small business owners are keen to replace subsidies with sales, but with only a third of business owners back to normal levels of sales, it is just way too soon to phase out the wage and rent subsidies,” Kelly added.

The CFIB is asking the feds to maintain the wage (CEWS) and rent (CERS) subsidy rates at June levels (75 per cent) until November.

Both of those rates dip down to 20 per cent in August.