OTTAWA EXPANDS WAGE SUBSIDIES AMONG NEW MEASURES TO HELP BUSINESSES
Mar 27, 2020
By Bob Komsic
Calling small and medium-sized businesses the ”backbone” of the economy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announced Ottawa will now cover 75% of salaries for workers of qualifying businesses; significantly more than the recently announced 10%.
The subsidy is retroactive to March 15.
At a time when businesses are losing money and either laying off workers or considering layoffs, the government will also guarantee bank loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses which will be interest-free for the first year.
Under certain conditions $10,000 of it will not have to be paid back.
Ottawa will also provide an additional $12.5-billion through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank to help small and medium-sized businesses with their operational cash-flow requirements.
The prime minister says this means they will be able to apply for a guaranteed loan when they go to their financial institutions to get help as they weather the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Plus, the government is deferring GST and HST payments as well as duties and taxes owed on imports until June.
Trudeau says it’s equivalent to giving $30-billion- in interest-free loans to businesses.
Details will be coming out between now and Monday.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce calls the announcement a ”lifeline” to businesses and employees.