The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) said it is pleased with this week’s Throne Speech, which focused government on the continued economic response to COVID-19. The impact of the first wave is far from over for small business, it added, with fewer than a third making their normal revenues.
Renewing the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) are both positive measures, the organization said in a statement.
CFIB president Dan Kelly said “expanding CEBA to cover fixed costs could be a far more effective way of assisting small firms to cover their crippling rent bills than the failing CECRA program. CFIB looks forward to working with government to this end.
“One of the highlights of the speech was the commitment to have additional direct support for businesses required to shut down again by local public health authorities,
he said. “We are also pleased government is looking to improve the Business Credit Availability Program. Additional lending options are desperately needed by many.
“One of our biggest worries in the Throne Speech is the prospect for permanent changes to the EI system. The self-employed needed pandemic support, but permanent EI coverage (and premiums) for entrepreneurs needs careful review and is fraught with landmines.
“And there are no signs the government is postponing the tax hikes planned for 2021: CPP hikes for employers and employees on January 1 and a hike in the federal carbon backstop in the spring. CFIB will be working to ensure the new tax on stock options doesn’t hit small, early stage businesses either.”