PM Hikes Wage Subsidy to 75%
CBJ — Following repeated pleas from various national associations — including the Canadian Federation of Business — about providing greater enterprise support, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the wage subsidy to be provided to qualified small and medium-sized businesses is being raised to 75%, up from the originally-announced 10%.
According to some economic reports the 10% subsidy would likely have only helped about 2% of all companies to survive, while the rest would have still been unable to pay staff.
The new, much more in-depth financial assistance is being back-dated to March 15. The government wants employers to keep as many people employed as possible and sees this as a good start in doing that.
The government is also launching a special emergency business account for small businesses that will see banks offer up to $40,000 government-guaranteed loans interest-free for the first year. If certain conditions are met, the first $10,000 will be forgiven.
An additional $12.5 billion is being made available for immediate operational cash flow requirements. HST and GST payments are being deferred until June, giving businesses more time to make their regular payments.
Earlier, the Bank of Canada lowered its trendsetting rate by 50 basis points to a scant 0.25%.
According to the latest figures there have been about 4,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada, with 39 deaths attributed to the virus. Nearly 550,000 worldwide cases have been confirmed with almost 25,000 having died due to complications from the coronavirus.