OTTAWA – Conservative Shadow Minister for Small Business and Export Promotion James Cumming and Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance Pierre Poilievre today proposed practical ways to help small businesses who have seen their revenues collapse as a result of COVID-19. Many are days away from permanently closing or declaring bankruptcy and laying off millions of employees.

The government’s promised wage subsidy would cover 75% of salaries up to $847/employee per week for businesses whose revenue has dropped 30% or more. Under the current plan, employers will need to wait as long as 6 weeks to even apply for the wage subsidy and then will face a further delay before they get the cash. Small businesses with urgent bill payments can’t afford to wait for weeks, they need help now.

Conservatives are calling on the government to:

  1. Give small businesses back the GST they remitted to the government in the last year so that they have the cash to pay their employees until the wage subsidy arrives.
  2.  Immediately set up the Canada Emergency Business Accounts so that small businesses have access to up to $40,000 in interest-free loans.
  3. Allow businesses to demonstrate their 30% revenue loss using other metrics such as loss of earnings, subscriptions, and orders.
  4. Temporarily allow owner-operators to become wage-earning employees instead of dividend recipients so that they qualify for the wage subsidy.

“Without an immediate life raft, thousands of small businesses employing millions of workers will drown. The millions of jobless people will fall deep into poverty and it may be years for the jobs to return. Time is running out. Waiting months more for solutions is not an option. The government must deliver to these businesses now,” said Shadow Minister for Finance Pierre Poilievre.

“In the past few weeks I have heard from countless small business owners who are scared and anxious about their livelihoods. The announcements made by the federal government come a little too late, without details, and then promised help is weeks away. Entrepreneurs do not have that kind of time. The solutions we are proposing are immediate, necessary, and will save many businesses from closing their doors forever,” said Shadow Minister for Small Business and Export Promotion James Cumming.

Conservatives will continue to put forward constructive solutions to ensure that no one falls through the cracks and ensure that Canadians, workers and small businesses have the help they need during this crisis.