CFIB Statement On Details Of The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

March 30, 2020

CANADA – While further details on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy are urgently needed, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) believes the information shared today by Prime Minister Trudeau will be a significant relief for tens of thousands of employers and hundreds of thousands of employees. The decisions to make the wage subsidy widely available to employers of all sizes and structures is the right approach given the unique nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. The wage subsidy is the single best measure to help Canada prepare for a quick recovery the minute the emergency phase of the pandemic is over.

CFIB is also pleased that there does not appear to be a cap per employer over the duration of the program. While it is reasonable for government to require evidence of a financial impact on businesses in order to qualify for the program, CFIB has heard from several businesses with very small margins, where even a modest reduction in sales can require significant changes in their staffing levels. We’ve also heard from other businesses where the primary impact has been an increase in their costs, rather than a reduction in business income. CFIB is pleased government intends to keep the administrative requirements light to ensure the support can quickly flow to the businesses to need it. We stand ready to support government with any retroactive measures needed to address anyone found cheating the intent of this or other support programs.

CFIB will be examining the details of the program once announced and will push for any changes that may be necessary to help the broadest number of small and medium-sized businesses keep their staff.

Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

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