With Ontario now having been in lockdown for more than six weeks, many businesses are struggling due to the added restrictions.
While relief for these businesses has been promised both at the federal and provincial levels, many businesses have yet to receive this relief according to the Canadian Federation of Businesses (CFIB).
“Small business owners are anxious to replace subsidies with sales, but with business lockdowns and restrictions still in place across Canada, programs need to be extended and expanded in order to avoid widespread business failures,” Dan Kelly, president of CFIB, said in a news release.
“Already, one in six business owners is considering permanent closure, and that’s on top of the ones who have already gone out of business. As helpful as the programs have been for many, CFIB’s offices continue to be flooded with calls from small business owners who are struggling to access many of the critical supports. One of the biggest gaps includes the lack of access to federal programs for new businesses that opened in 2020. This needs to change,” he continued.
According to the findings, 65 per cent of entrepreneurs have been able to access the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), while 59 per cent have been able to access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, but only 25 per cent have used the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and only eight per cent have used a provincial support program.
As a result, CFIB is urging the government to Immediately process all outstanding applications for expanded CEBA loans and consider a further expansion to $80,000, with 50 per cent forgivable.
“The reality for large groups of businesses, like those that started in 2020, is that they are left out of any support at all. For others, the help is too little too late. More work needs to be done to close these gaps so the programs can help as many businesses as possible survive the pandemic,” Kelly said.