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(OTTAWA) – March 18, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce today issued the following statement by Perrin Beatty, PC, OC, President and CEO, regarding the government’s additional measures to help Canadian businesses impacted by COVID-19:

“Finance Minister Morneau’s announcement represented an important step forward in dealing with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

 The measures are the first stage of the government’s fiscal strategy and we will continue to work with them and with other partners to maintain the vital connection between employers and employees and mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.

We know that all businesses, and particularly small businesses, are feeling severe pressure. We still have much more work ahead.

These measures directly reflect the input of business and workers. Particularly important elements for our small businesses include:

  • Allowing all businesses to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after today and before September 2020.
  • The Canada Revenue Agency will not contact any small or medium Canada business to initiate any post assessment GST/HST or Income Tax audits for the next four weeks. For the vast majority of businesses, the Canada Revenue Agency will temporarily suspend audit interaction with taxpayers and representatives.
  • Supporting small businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer.
  • Increasing the credit available to small, medium, and large Canadian businesses. As announced on March 13, a new Business Credit Availability Program will provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses experiencing cash flow challenges through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada.
  • Providing flexibility on the Canada Account limit, to allow the Government to provide additional support to Canadian businesses, when required in exceptional circumstances. Small and medium Canadian businesses should explore these measures with their existing business service partners. 
  • More information on such support programs will be available through the Canadian Chamber network, the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada in the coming days.  

It is important to remember that this crisis is not only about what government can do to help business and workers, but also what business can do to help all Canadians. A good example is today’s announcement by several Canadian banks to offer a 6-month deferral on mortgage payments for those impacted by job loss or reduced hours. Other companies have offered to retool to manufacture essential medical equipment to mobilize our industrial capacity in the fight against COVID-19.

Today’s announcement was the product of teamwork among government, business and labour. Canadians should know that all sectors of society are working hard to minimize the impacts of the virus.

The Canadian Chamber will continue to work with government to develop new and innovative responses to the COVID-19 crisis. We’re all in this together, and when business, government and workers act as one, we are at our best.”

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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, Managing Director of External Communications, at ptaylor@chamber.ca.