CFIB welcomes wage and rent subsidies extension

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The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is pleased by today’s announcement that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) have been extended for another month to October 23, 2021. With only 35 per cent of businesses back to making normal levels of sales, any additional runway on these crucial federal support programs is welcome news.

However, CFIB continues to petition the federal government to maintain the programs until the economic recovery is more advanced. Small firms are keen to replace subsidies with sales, but many firms continue to face a significant lack of demand due to capacity restrictions, border closures and customers hesitant to return to normal activities.

New businesses also continue to be left out of all federal support programs, including the wage and rent subsidy and the new Canada Recovery Hiring Benefit (CRHB). CFIB urges the government to create a pathway for them to access these vital supports.

The Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) program has also been extended into October, which will be a relief to many workers and self-employed Canadians who have had to rely on it throughout the pandemic. However, with a growing shortage of skilled workers in many sectors, CFIB cautions the government to ensure CRB or any other Employment Insurance measures do not disincentivize people from returning to work by ensuring part-time worker benefits are not higher than they earned pre-pandemic.

“Small business owners face a long road to recovery and they still need support to get there. Today’s positive announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland will give them a little more certainty heading into the fall.” – Dan Kelly, President and CEO, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)