‘What’s taking so long?’ Conservatives call for faster aid for businesses

‘What’s taking so long?’ Conservatives call for faster aid for businesses
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OTTAWA — Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre says relief from the federal government for small businesses suffering losses due to COVID-19 is not rolling out fast enough.

He says the United States has already delivered $66 billion in forgivable loans to businesses in America while Canadian companies are still waiting for promised emergency financial help.

Conservatives are calling for the Liberal government to use faster measures, including reimbursing GST payments remitted by small businesses for the 12 months prior to the start of the COVID-19 crisis — a move that Poilievre says would put $13 billion back into the bank accounts of business owners.

The Conservatives also say the Canada Emergency Business Account, which will provide interest-free loans of $40,000 for qualifying businesses, should be delivered by credit unions, not just banks.

Poilievre is calling on the government to widen the eligibility criteria for the Liberals’ wage-subsidy program beyond lost revenues to allow employers who have seen lost profits or subscriptions also apply to this program.

The wage-subsidy program the Liberals have promised will only be available to employers that see a fall of at least 30 per cent of their revenues.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 8, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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