Conservatives Propose to Fast-Track Small Business Wage Subsidy

April 13, 2020 – Conservative Shadow Minister for Small Business and Export Promotion, James Cumming, and Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance, Pierre Poilievre, today announced a practical solution to fast-track rescue aid to small businesses.

The government’s wage subsidy program became law Saturday and the Canada Revenue Agency will only deposit the cash in small business bank accounts in four weeks, well after many will go bankrupt. This means that many businesses will only get their March wage subsidy in May. The United States already paid out 220,000 small business loans and wages subsidies weeks ago.

With a simple fix, small businesses could get the wage money next week. Here’s how:

Let small businesses get their wage subsidy from banks and credit unions next week. Lift the $40,000 limit on the government-backed interest-free Canada Emergency Business Account that banks and credit unions are now delivering, so businesses can borrow the wage subsidy now and pay it back once the Canada Revenue Agency finally deposits it in their accounts in four weeks.

For example: Joe’s business is out of cash because to the COVID-19 shut down. He has work for employees but no cash for wages. The $40,000 Emergency Business Account is only enough to pay his mortgage and suppliers, so there is nothing left for workers. He cannot wait another four weeks.

Solution: the government allows his credit union to front him wage money now to keep his employees working. Joe pays back the credit union when CRA deposits his wage subsidy in four weeks.

Businessman and MP James Cumming, who developed the idea said: “It has been almost a month since the Canadian economy shut down, and businesses have not received a single penny in rescue assistance. Only last week, they were able to begin applying for the small business emergency bank account. Small business owners cannot wait an additional four-weeks for wage subsidy cheques to arrive. Our Conservative proposal gets wages flowing now.”

Poilievre agreed: “There is no more time. Workers need wages and entrepreneurs need cash now. Conservatives have a simple, practical plan to get it to them. Our message to Minister Morneau: ‘do it now.’”

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