Vast majority of small businesses disproportionately hit by pandemic – minister
Shady Salah – Media in Toronto
Small Business, Exports and Trade Minister, Mary Ng, acknowledged on Friday that the vast majority of small and medium sized businesses have been disproportionately hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the Minister of small business and as you know the vast majority of our members are small businesses and the vast majority of Canadian businesses are small businesses, small medium sized businesses and they have been disproportionately hit,” the minister said during a webinar organized by Ontario Chamber of Commerce, noting to the federal programs to help these businesses survive the crisis.
“I think it’s critical for us to understand that as best as we can. I know that through the CEBA loans. Many businesses have taken that up, and as a result, it’s helping them,” she added.
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling on the federal government to increase the Canadian Emergency Bank Account (CEBA) loan amount (currently up to $10,000) as well as the forgivable portion.
A new CFIB survey of its members says small business owners are taking on large debt loads and dipping into personal savings to weather prolonged business disruption.
“There are other lending supports of course that are larger than the $40,000 and that is helping. But, but we’re going to need to work with businesses a bit more intently on this, to be sure that we understand sort of the order of magnitude of for businesses in this restart.”
“Businesses are now going to have to take off on in an effort to keep everyone safe, but doing business in this present world. With COVID-19 is going to require some adjustments for businesses, and that means costs, so we are working very closely with the chamber network but also with businesses directly with businesses in different sectors because the requirements will vary by sector, and large, I think there are some things that are uniform, like maybe additional lending support or, you know, but this, these are the kinds of things that we’re absolutely talking to businesses about right now and I would encourage those discussions to continue to be very robust so that we can get those solutions, right, for businesses.”