Shomporko Desk: Prime Minister Justin will visit a gourmet cafe in Quebec today to underline his request to entrepreneurs to utilize the government wage sponsorship program to rehire labourers.
However, his visit to Biscotti and cie in the village of Chelsea comes while the government is deferring the beginning date for another program that should enable independent ventures to endure the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau took to Twitter late Thursday to report that the guaranteed extension of the Canada Emergency Business Account to incorporate small owner-operated businesses won’t dispatch today as scheduled.
The CEBA, which offers interest-free, mostly excusable credits of up to $40,000, has been extended twice to incorporate a lot of businesses.
Several weeks ago, the government announced the program was to be expanded again to include companies with payrolls of less than $20,000 and with non-deferrable expenses, like rent, utilities and property taxes, of between $40,000 and $1.5 million.
The change was intended to cover owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their small payrolls, sole proprietors who receive business income directly and family-owned operations that pay family members in the form of dividends.
“Work continues around the clock to ensure the program can securely launch across over 230 financial institutions,” Morneau tweeted. “We know how important the program is to small businesses & want to launch as quickly as possible.”
Trudeau’s visit to the Chelsea cafe, just north of Ottawa, is meant to underscore how the 75 per cent wage subsidy can help employers afford to rehire workers now that the economy is starting to slowly reopen after several months of pandemic-induced lockdown.
Biscotti & cie has used the program to hire back dozens of workers at the cafe and its sister operation, the Chelsea Pub.
This is the second company Trudeau has visited in as many weeks in a bid to persuade businesses to take advantage of the wage subsidy. He has been almost begging them to use it as the government tries to wean jobless Canadians off the $2,000-a-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit and transition back to work.
The wage subsidy, originally budgeted at $73 billion, has had far less take-up than the federal government had hoped. In the meantime, it has had to almost double the original budget for the CERB to $60 billion.
Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
News credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS