The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is urging Ottawa to extend its support programs until the economy is fully reopened and Canadians are able to take advantage of activities like indoor dining, travel and events. 

According to CFIB, just over half of businesses are fully open, 41 per cent are fully staffed and just 31 per cent are making normal sales. 

“Small business recovery is at a virtual stand-still and we’re already hearing from business owners who are alarmed about the planned subsidy reductions,” said Corinne Pohlmann, Senior Vice-President of National Affairs at CFIB. “It’s understandable that the government wants to phase out emergency relief programs eventually, but we’re not there yet. Businesses need to know they can rely on federal support until they can get back to regular operations.” 

CFIB urges feds to keep pandemic-related subsidies in place 

The federal support programs have been a lifeline for small firms, with small businesses accumulating an average $163,000 in COVID-related debt since the start of the pandemic. While the programs are helpful, subsidies from all levels of government are covering on average only 31 per cent of the small businesses’ financial shortfall due to COVID-19. 

CFIB is urging the federal government to continue supporting small businesses by extending all of the federal support programs and keeping the subsidies at their current levels until the entire economy can reopen and all small businesses can once again serve customers in person.