Small biz needs greater access to government support, CFIB says

By Staff | October 29, 2021 | Last updated on October 29, 2021
2 min read
small business owner during the pandemic
Antonio_Diaz /

Many small businesses that still need wage and rent support are concerned they won’t qualify under new government subsidy programs, said the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in a release on Friday.

In a federation survey conducted this week, 41% of small businesses said they still needed government support. However, only one in five of those businesses in need said they’d qualify for the government’s new support programs.

About half of small businesses (51%) said they didn’t need government support.

The major challenge is that “Ottawa has established an incredibly high bar before any wage or rent subsidies become available,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB president, in the release. “A restaurant or hotel with a one-third current loss in revenue will receive zero support. Even worse, a gym or bowling alley with a 45% loss in revenue will receive no help.”

That’s because access to the new Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program requires revenue reductions of at least 40%. Other businesses looking for support from the Hardest-Hit Business Recovery Program must demonstrate revenue reductions of 50%. (For both programs, businesses must demonstrate revenue losses over the course of 12 months of the pandemic, as well as in the current month.)

Kelly was also concerned that the Hardest-Hit subsidy wouldn’t be enough for some businesses, and that lack of clarity persisted about the types of businesses that would quality for the tourism and hospitality subsidy. The government states online that details about qualifying businesses are forthcoming.

CFIB is petitioning the government to make changes to the new support programs before implementation, including lowering the threshold for wage and rent supports to 10%, raising subsidy levels for all businesses to the formula used for the Tourism and Hospitality Recovery Program, and allowing new businesses that opened after the pandemic began to access the programs.

The CFIB’s monthly business barometer, a measure of small business confidence over the next three and 12 months, indicated that small business optimism improved only slightly in October, and “hovers around levels seen at the beginning of the year,” the federation said on its website. staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.