Ottawa’s wage subsidy far too low to help small businesses: CFIB

Ottawa’s $27-billion in direct funding for workers and businesses is a step in the right direction but stops far short of what’s needed to help Canada’s entrepreneurs amid the novel coronavirus crisis, according to the Canadian Federation for Independent Business (CFIB).

“The focus of business and worker support measures should be to avoid layoffs from companies that are dealing with a deep and immediate drop in sales as a result of the economic effects of self-isolation,” CFIB president Dan Kelly said in a statement on Wednesday.

Kelly zeroed in on a new wage subsidy presented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau that would provide businesses with finds for up to 10 per cent of workers’ pay for a period of three months. Companies would receive a maximum of $1,375 per employee for a total of up to $25,000 per employer.

“While the measure is a good one,” according to Kelly, “the level of the subsidy needs to be far higher in order to help.”

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