Media Releases Mar 03, 2021

Canadian Chamber says Extension of CEWS and CERS Rates Provides Certainty and Continuity for Businesses and Employees


(OTTAWA) – March 3, 2021 – Today, Alla Drigola, Director of Parliamentary Affairs and SME Policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement in response to the Government of Canada’s announcement regarding updated CEWS and CERS criteria:

“Today’s announcement that the CEWS and CERS programs will continue at the current support rates until June provide much-needed certainty for businesses who continue to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have been urging the government to publish the details on what support rates will look like past March 13, and today’s announcement from the Prime Minister answered those calls. Businesses can now plan with certainty this spring, knowing what level of support they will receive from these critical support programs through June of this year.

The Canadian Chamber has also been advocating for these programs to keep 2019 as the reference period from which businesses can determine the level of decline in their revenue, rather than the year-over-year calculations currently used. This change is critical to ensure businesses and employees continue to receive the support they need by measuring revenue declines against the pre-pandemic period. We are very pleased to see this direct recommendation implemented to provide certainty and support for businesses.

We must avoid phasing out these programs too quickly for businesses in the sectors that have been hardest hit and will take longer to recover. These sectors include tourism, travel, food services, accommodations, and the events sector, among others. This means extending CEWS and CERS past June, and until such a time that these businesses are able to recover.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Canada in helping support businesses through the pandemic and into recovery.”

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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For more information, please contact:
Phil Taylor
ptaylor@chamber.ca