Canadian Federation of Independent Business surveys small business confidence, in a March 25, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

Small businesses will now be able to receive up to 75 per cent in federal government funds in order to keep paying their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic – up from the previously announced 10 per cent subsidy plan.

During his daily news conference outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Friday, March 27, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a suite of new measures to support small business.

In addition, storefront businesses will also qualify for up to $40,000 in loans, with up to $10,000 forgiven, he said. Business owners will have until June to pay GST and HST payments while taxes on imports will also be suspended.

Trudeau said that this is the equivalent of $30 billion in loans, interest free.

“We hope these new measures will encourage employers who felt forced to lay off their employees to keep them on the payroll, and for those who did lay off their employees will hire them back,” Trudeau said.

Last week, during the unveiling of the $82 billion in relief to those hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Trudeau announced a 10 per cent wage subsidy for businesses. On Friday, he said government officials have heard from business owners that that isn’t enough.

The increased subsidy will be retroactive to March 15.

The announcements comes as the Bank of Canada implemented an unscheduled cut to interest rates, bringing it down to 0.25 per cent.

More to come.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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