Media Releases Oct 20, 2021

Small businesses in hardest hit sectors living day to day, need certainty on CEWS and CERS


(OTTAWA) – October 20, 2021 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Parliamentary Affairs and SME Policy, Alla Drigola Birk, today issued the following statement about the lack of certainty for continued support for small businesses in the hardest-hit sectors.

“In a week celebrating the importance and contribution of small businesses to Canada’s social and economic success, there’s a painful irony for the millions of men and women still struggling daily to make ends meet in Canada’s hardest hit sectors. With only three days to go before the rent and wage subsidy programs lapse, there is still no word from the federal government on their intention to make good on their promise to extend the badly needed help. Waiting until the eleventh hour only adds additional stress for small businesses and their employees – something that is both unnecessary and avoidable.

Behind every small business are communities and households that depend on those jobs, and even more so during an economic crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. In hard-hit sectors like travel, tourism, and food services, that dependence is precarious and businesses are surviving day-to-day. Leaving the survival of these businesses going down to the wire overlooks the enormous financial damage and sacrifice they have endured to keep Canadians safe. They deserve better, and the backdrop of Small Business Week only amplifies the policy failure.

Extending the current programs through to November needs to be done without delay. This needs to be followed by a retooled program focusing on the hardest hit sectors through to Spring 2022.

The pandemic has already closed nearly 200,000 Canadian businesses so far, or roughly 15 per cent of Canada’s primary job creation engine.  We can’t fail those businesses who did everything they were asked to keep all Canadians safe by letting them fail now.”

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