October 5th, 2020
MP McPherson calls on Liberals to support Edmonton’s small businesses
Today in Parliament, NDP MP Heather McPherson (Edmonton-Strathcona) echoed the concerns of local businesses in Edmonton who have been hit hard by COVID-19.
Citing the large numbers of small businesses struggling to stay afloat, McPherson pointed to the Liberals pulling the plug on their flawed Commercial Rent Assistance program with no indication that they will replace it with a better program.
“Instead of helping small businesses, this government laid out a flawed rent assistance program that didn’t do the job,” said McPherson. “And now that the Liberals have ended the program without replacing it, business owners are left scrambling to stay open as a second wave hits.”
In her statement in the House of Commons, McPherson cited the example of The Truck Outfitters, a Western Canadian based marketer and distributor of truck accessories. The small company was able to adapt their business model but still lost 2/3 of their revenue, just missing the cut-off point for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program which was set at a 70% revenue decline.
According to Fred Fishburne, President of The Truck Outfitters, this minute difference has cost his small business plenty. “It has affected our daily operations, our ability to make decisions regarding our future, our relationship with our landlords, and our ability to retain staff. It has increased our mounting losses, and most importantly, our ability to serve our customers and survive,” said Fishburne.
“Small businesses create jobs and contribute to our communities and the country,” said McPherson. “When will the Prime Minister stand up for small businesses and support them into the second wave? People should not and cannot wait any longer.”
New Democrats will continue to fight for programs that work for the small businesses that make our communities feel like home.