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October 9th, 2020

New government help for small businesses long overdue: NDP

OTTAWA — New Democrats, who have been calling on the government to bring in a rental assistance program that directly helps small business owners since April, are encouraged to see the government finally acting on NDP recommendations today. Now, the government must make the eligibility for the new assistance plan retroactive so that small business owners who shut their doors to support public health get the help they needed from the start.

“The Liberals’ first commercial rent program was a failure by design, and it left the majority of small business owners with no help at all. After struggling for months, many small businesses owners are in arrears with their landlords and steeped in debt. They need the government to make the new rent assistance program retroactive so the businesses that didn’t get help last time can finally get some relief,” said NDP Critic for Small Business, Gord Johns. “Small businesses have made huge sacrifices for the good of the public and the second wave of COVID-19 is putting them under enormous threat once again. The government has to make sure small businesses get through this pandemic.”

For months, New Democrats have been asking the government to deliver a tenant-focused rental assistance program. Johns noted that the bills and debt small businesses have racked up while the Liberals left them without any help aren’t going to go away on their own.

“It’s good that the government is finally implementing what New Democrats have been calling for to help small businesses,” said NDP Finance Critic Peter Julian. “But if they don’t make eligibility retroactive, it will be too little, too late to save many small businesses owners who were failed so badly by the Liberal’s CECRA.”