May 7th, 2020
Letter to Ministers Morneau & Ng
Regarding Supports for Edmonton Strathcona Businesses
I am reaching out to you on behalf of the many owners of small businesses in Edmonton Strathcona who have contacted me with concerns about the support programs announced by the Government. While many are benefitting from these supports, others are unable to access them. I would appreciate it if you would consider ajustments to these programs. I have spoken to several businesses who do not qualify for either Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy or the Canada Emergency Business Account loan program for the following reasons:
- Owners pay themselves from dividends not a regular salary. Even though they do issue themselves a T4 at the end of the year, they need to ensure they are covering all their costs, including paying their workers, before they decided what to pay themselves.
- Their employees work on contract so are not eligible for the wage subsidy. This is common for places of employment such as hair salons, dance studios, and many others.
- Their businesses are too new for them to be able to provide the payroll and other information required.
- They lack a relationship with a bank or financial institution so are unable to access the loan program.
This week, I also started to hear from businesses whose landlords are refusing to apply for the CECRA. THis is putting them in a financial bing, but they are powerless to do anything about it.
I know that my colleague Gord Johns has made suggestions for adjustments to the programs so that they would be inclusive of more struggling companies. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities in Edmonton Strathcona. I am sure that the same is true of your ridings. In these unprecedented times, they need government support to help them to survive. I believe it would be helpful if a dedicated line could be set up so businesses, as well as MPs' staff, could reach someone in government to bring up the issues they are having with the programs that have been announced.
Thank you for your consideration.