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

Surrey School District forecasts up to 30 per cent of students will return to class this week

Education Minister Rob Fleming said on June 1, about 60,000 B.C. children returned to school

Video tribute to KPU’s spring grad class also honours Andrew Petter, Bill Wright

‘We still want to celebrate our graduates, their achievements, and their resilience’

Surrey baseball association loses ‘a true giant’ in Bruce Lawson

Longtime volunteer ‘always gave his heart and soul to Surrey Canadian and the game of baseball’

Surrey Mounties respond to report of shots fired in Cloverdale

They took 12 people into custody but found no evidence shots were actually fired

Clover Valley Beer Festival cancelled

Cloverdale beer fest falls victim to COVID-19

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Importance of accurate, ethical reporting more critical than ever

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read