North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says some of the most poignant stories during the coronavirus pandemic have concerned businesses in her riding and across the country.
She is encouraged by government’s decision to expand the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to include payrolls starting at $20,000.
The CEBA provides interest-free loans up to $40,000. If paid off in a certain amount of time, government will forgive 25 per cent.
“So $10,000 could be forgiven,” Blaney said. “There’s no interest tied to this at this time.”
She notes the limit to apply had been $50,000 in payroll costs, which was beyond the reach of seasonal or smaller businesses.
“We’re glad to see that go down to $20,000. One of the challenges that we are seeing in the riding is that organizations and businesses that are connected to local Credit Unions have not been able to access this.”
She said the program was initially rolled out only with larger banks. However, the Finance Ministry has said it will bring Credit Unions up to speed.
Similar to the CEBA is the Indigenous Business Support of $306 million to allow companies to access short-term interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions.
“This is a little more inclusive, and there’s businesses across our riding that will benefit from this,” Blaney said.