Announcing additional support for small businesses
Just this morning, I had a call with the other G7 leaders to discuss the pandemic. We all remain committed to doing whatever it takes to help people and our economies rebound after this crisis.
We’re working together to support international efforts to develop a vaccine, expand treatment, expand testing, and ensure that critical medical supplies get to the front-lines.
As I’ve said before, this is a global crisis and it demands a global response.
While we’re doing everything to keep people safe in our respective countries, we also have to help more vulnerable nations fight this virus by providing more support for their health care systems, debt relief, and other forms of assistance.
We will keep working together as partners to ensure the safety and health of people around the world.
Over the past few weeks, our government has launched a series of measures to help people get through difficult situations caused by this pandemic.
With the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, we are helping people to continue receiving a salary, even if the company they work for has had to slow down or stop operating completely.
With the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, we’re giving $2,000 a month to those who are no longer able to earn a living because of the virus.
And yesterday, we announced that we would be expanding the eligibility criteria to allow more people to get the help they need.
If you are a seasonal worker, if you earn less than $1,000 a month, or if you have recently exhausted your employment insurance benefits, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be there for you.
At the same time, we are working with the provinces and territories to increase the salaries of essential workers who earn less than $2,500 a month.
Auxiliary nurses, senior care providers, all those who are working hard to maintain some semblance of normalcy are doing an extraordinary job, even as conditions become increasingly difficult.
They deserve not only our thanks, but also our support.
This evening, I will be discussing this with my provincial and territorial colleagues during our weekly meeting.
We will also be discussing how we can better protect the elderly living in seniors’ residences and long-term care facilities.
Last night, the Minister of Public Safety, Bill Blair, received an official request for assistance from the Government of Quebec to help health care workers.
We are working closely with Quebec to finalize an assistance plan and we will have more information for you soon.
But I can tell you that we will be giving the province all the help we can, looking to the Canadian Red Cross, the Canadian Armed Forces, and specialized volunteers who have registered with Health Canada.
We will always be there for Canadians who are in need of help.
Another issue that often comes up during the meeting with the premiers is the supply of medical equipment.
This morning I can confirm that the government has finalized contracts with several Canadian companies, including Geometric Energy Corporation in Calgary, which will provide millions of gloves to our health care workers.
Later today, Minister Anand will provide an update on the latest supply developments.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve rolled out a series of measures to get people the help they need as quickly as possible.
As things evolve, we’re hearing from Canadians who need more help. From businesses who need more support.
No one should feel as if they’re alone in this fight.
Our government is here to help you through these challenging times.
So, when we hear the program is not reaching as many people as it should, we make changes.
A few weeks ago, we launched the Canada Emergency Business Account to help small businesses struggling with cash flow.
Under this program, banks are offering $40,000 loans, which are guaranteed by the government.
To date, more than 195,000 loans have been approved. We’re talking about more than $7.5 billion in credit to small- and medium-sized businesses.
It’s a start, but Minister Ng and others have heard from business owners who could really use this help, but who do not fit the current admissibility criteria, so we’re going to make some adjustments because we want to be there to support you.
Today, we are expanding the Canada Emergency Business Account by both increasing and decreasing the eligibility threshold.
Now, businesses who spent between $20,000 and $1,500,000 in total payroll in 2019 will be eligible to receive a loan through the CEBA.
That’s businesses who spent between $20,000 and $1,500,000 in total payroll in 2019 who will now be eligible.
This is money entrepreneurs and employers can use to cover operational costs and help with other immediate needs.
Businesses and commercial property owners are also facing specific challenges because of COVID-19, so we plan on introducing the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance.
This program will provide support to help small businesses with their rent for the months of April, May, and June.
To implement this program, we have to work with the provinces and territories as they govern rental relationships and we hope to have more details to share very soon.
A few weeks ago, we launched the Canada Emergency Business Account.
This program allows banks to offer guaranteed $40,000 loans to eligible businesses to help them with their cash flow problems.
To date, more than 195,000 loans have been approved. That means over $7.5 billion in credit to small and medium-sized enterprises.
It’s a start, but Minister Ng and others have spoken to several employers who need this financial assistance, but are not currently eligible for the program.
So today, we are expanding the scope of the Canada Emergency Business Account by increasing and decreasing the eligibility thresholds.
Businesses that spent between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019 can now apply for a guaranteed loan.
This is funding that entrepreneurs and employers can use to meet their cash flow needs and other immediate expenses.
Businesses and commercial property owners are also facing specific challenges because of COVID-19.
Our government will therefore introduce the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance.
This measure will provide support to help small businesses with their rent for April, May, and June.
To implement this program, we must work with the provinces and territories, as they are responsible for managing rents, and we hope to have more details soon.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve all had to get used to this new normal.
It’s been snowing in some places this week, including here in Ottawa, because that’s just what 2020 brings.
But we hope that the weather will get nicer.
As time goes on, staying home and not seeing friends is going to be even more difficult.
We’re going to miss our colleagues, our friends, our neighbours, and our parents even more than we do now.
But we have to be disciplined. We must stay the course.
We cannot let the progress we’ve made go to waste.
And above all, we cannot put lives at risk.
So, let’s keep following public health recommendations.
Wash your hands. Stay home as much as possible.
And if you do go out, be sure to stay at least two metres away from others.
If we persist and persevere, I know that we will prevail.
Once again, thank you all for joining us.