April 30, 2020
On Monday of this week, the Government of Canada began accepting applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Businesses and organizations can apply for the subsidy
While my Conservative Caucus colleagues and I support measures that the government has put forward to get real help to people affected by this pandemic, we continue to hear from constituents about significant issues and gaps in the government’s implementation.
We have heard from small business owners who don’t qualify for the wage subsidy and from constituents who have received both EI and CERB payments, and are now worried about when the extra money will be clawed back.
We continue to propose meaningful solutions to the Liberal Government, such as rebating the GST to small businesses that have collected it, increasing the Charitable Tax Credit for charitable giving, and making it easier for businesses to qualify for the wage subsidy.
We have also proposed
easy solutions to help small businesses access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA). Senseless rules exclude many deserving businesses from the CEBA. First, under the current criteria, small businesses must have a pre-existing business account to qualify for the CEBA.
Sole proprietors typically use a chequing account, rather than a business account, and thus do not qualify.
Second, businesses must have a payroll of at least $20,000 to qualify for the CEBA. Newer family-run businesses typically have no payroll because family members do all the work without salary, so they can pay off debt and build up the business instead. When family members eventually do get paid, it is through dividends, which do not count as payroll. This type of business tends to have little cash to cushion catastrophic surprises like the COVID-19 shut down.
The government can correct the shortcomings of the Canada Emergency Business Account with two simple corrections to the loan criteria. It can remove the requirement to have a business account to qualify for the CEBA.
The Government can also expand the eligibility criteria for the CEBA, to include revenue decline, so more small businesses qualify for the $40,000 loan.
Conservatives have been part of Team Canada since Day 1, putting forward constructive solutions to improve government policies and programs. We look forward to the government starting to implement our suggestions so that no one falls through the cracks.
I am my staff will continue to provide service to constituents via telephone, email and videoconference until it is safe for all of us to resume our normal lives.