Small businesses will put us on a path to prosperity

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged residents and businesses in Kootenay-Columbia. I continue to hear from too many small business owners who are unsure if they will make it through this crisis. They are finding it impossible to acquire federal support, which is why Conservatives continue to put forward constructive solutions to fix the gaps in the government’s financial support programs. We have had several successes so far. Thanks to the persistence of Conservatives and small businesses, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was increased from 10% to 75%. We also pressed the government to expand the eligibility criteria for the $40,000 Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan and the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) so that more Canadians qualify. However, we know there is still much more to do. Conservatives continue to call for a new program to match students with jobs in Canada’s agriculture and agri-food industries, including fish and seafood. We have also proposed that the government refund GST remittances made by small businesses over the last twelve months. And we are calling on the government to make the CERB more generous and more flexible so that Canadians are not penalized for returning to work. In the meantime, residents can help by supporting our local businesses while following the advice of health officials. Join me in shopping local and supporting our retailers. In addition, every Wednesday is Canada Takeout Day. I encourage everyone to support a local restaurant on Takeout Day if you are able. On the other side of this crisis, it will be the success of small, local businesses that will put Canada on the path to prosperity once again.