by Morinville News Staff
Conservative Shadow Minister for Small Business James Cumming and Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance Pierre Poilievre are saying the Liberals’ Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) does not offer assistance to all Canadian businesses. The two federal politicians proposed solutions on Sunday to remedy the oversight.
Under the current CEBA criteria, many sole proprietors, who use personal chequing accounts, do not qualify as the small businesses have to have a pre-existing business account to qualify for the CEBA. Businesses must also have a payroll of at least $20,000 to qualify, something the politicians say many family-run businesses do not have because family members do all the work without salary or by receiving dividends when the business is profitable.
Cumming and Poilievre say the government can correct the CEBA shortcomings by removing the requirement to have a business account to qualify, and expanding the eligibility criteria for to include revenue decline, so more small businesses qualify for the $40,000 loan.
The Conservative politicians are also looking for changes to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance, a program that will help businesses that are closed because of COVID-19.
Cumming and Poilievre say a design flaw will force many businesses that have remained open to close or grind their operations to a halt.
Under the current program, a business must have lost 70% of its revenue to qualify for rental subsidies. Businesses that have not lost that amount get nothing. That includes businesses whose revenues have fallen by half while they stay open during COVID-19.
“Conservatives are proposing practical solutions to rescue businesses whom governments have locked down. Governments should not punish business owners because they have the wrong type of bank account; or because they put their revenues into the company instead of paying themselves; or because they have fought through the COVID-19 lockdown to keep serving customers and employing workers,” Poilievre said.
Cumming added Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau’s rescue package’ picks winners and losers and has let entrepreneurs fall through the cracks.
“We have been hearing from frustrated business owners asking for flexibility in the eligibility metrics currently in place. That is the least this government can do for the private sector after forcing them to close their doors,” Cumming said.