Chamber Calls for Speedy Delivery of Wage SubsidyApril 8, 2020
(Toronto – April 8, 2020) – Today, Rocco Rossi, President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce released the following statement in response to the Government of Canada’s amendments to the federal emergency wage subsidy.
“We are pleased the Government of Canada continues to respond to adapt to people and business during this crisis. There were several improvements to the wage subsidy announced today. However, we would have preferred to see it self-administrated so that businesses could simply hold onto their money rather than enduring lengthy processing delays. We implore the government to deliver these funds swiftly.
“Significantly, the subsidy is meant to offset declines in income, but qualification is based on revenue – that creates a problem.
“It is positive that the federal government is reimbursing employment insurance and the Canadian Pension Plan to provide relief to business at this critical time. We were also pleased to see flexibility for charities and not-for-profit organizations to have the option not to include government funding in their revenues for the purposes of comparison.
“We welcome the federal government’s change to allow business who can demonstrate a 15 percent reduction in gross revenues for March to qualify.
“Unfortunately, a 30 percent reduction will still be required to receive the subsidy in April and/or May which will pose several challenges to businesses, particularly high-growth tech firms, seasonal business and start-ups. Furthermore, many Ontario and Canadian companies are pre-revenue and funded by VCs or investors. They are forced to lay off much of their staff to reduce their cash burn given the uncertainty of their funding. As they have no gross revenue yet, they cannot qualify for the 75 percent wage subsidy.
“Overall, these are steps in the right direction, and we are committed to working with the government to respond and adapt to challenges facing Ontario business.”
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.
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