Feds announce support for small businesses

by Morinville News Staff

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Friday morning additional new measures to support small businesses dealing with the economic impacts of the pandemic. The feds say these new measures will help Canadian companies protect Canadians jobs and pay workers during the pandemic.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and an important source of good jobs across this country,” Trudeau said. “They are facing economic hardship and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that is why we are taking action now to help them get the financial help they need to protect their workers and pay their bills.”

Friday’s announcement includes a 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to three months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. The federal government says this funding will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll. More details on eligibility criteria will start with the impact of COVID-19 on sales. The government plans to share details before the end of March.

Businesses, including self-employed individuals, will be able to defer all Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) payments until June, as well as customs duties owed for imports. The federal government believes the measure will help businesses continue to pay their employees and their bills, easing cash-flow challenges across the country.

The feds also announced the launch of the new Canada Emergency Business Account, a program that will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses. The loans are guaranteed and funded by the Government of Canada. The feds say this will ensure small businesses have access to capital interest-free so they can pay for rent and other important costs over the coming months.

Small businesses and not-for-profits are asked to contact their financial institution to apply for these loans.

To qualify, organizations need to demonstrate they paid between $50,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022, will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

The government has also launched a new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program, providing up to $40 billion in lending. The loans are intended for small and medium-sized companies that require greater help to meet their operational cash flow requirements.

Full details can be found at https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/additional-support-for-canadian-businesses-from-the-economic-impact-of-covid-19.html

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