Media Releases Apr 06, 2020

Emergency wage subsidy changes positive, but timeliness of execution deciding factor

(OTTAWA, ON) – April 8, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, the Honourable Perrin Beatty, PC, OC, issued the following statement regarding today’s announced changes to the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy program:

“Today we learned of five important changes to the wage subsidy program that will help more businesses access the funding. The changes are positive and reflect feedback from the business community as a whole.

However, the defining measure of success in helping keep Canadian businesses from closing their doors will be getting the funds to them within days, not weeks.

The government has proven that it can deliver funds quickly and efficiently with the success of the CERB program delivered through the CRA. Canadian businesses need the same urgency in receiving financial help. Several weeks from now will simply be too late.

The positive changes announced today included:

  • A business will now be able to compare their sales to March, April and/or May of last year OR January and February, 2020. This will help new and growing firms who may not have qualified based on a comparison to 2019.
  • A business need demonstrate a 15 per cent reduction in gross revenues for March. A 30 per cent reduction will still be required to receive the subsidy in April and/or May.
  • That Employment Insurance (EI), Canada Pension Plan (CPP);  Quebec Pension Plan (QPP); and Quebec Parental Insurance Plan premiums will be reimbursed.
  • That registered charities and not-for-profit organizations are eligible employers and will have the choice of whether or not to include government funding in their revenues for the purposes of comparison. 
  • That businesses can start applying for the interest-free loan applications on April 9.

We look forward to continue working with the Government to develop measures that can accomplish the pressing concerns of our members, and the business community as a whole.”

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.

For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor at