Should the CEWS be extended?

Business federation wants emergency wage subsidy extended until economy is fully open

Should the CEWS be extended?

The Canadian Federation of Small Business (CFIB) is calling on the federal government to extend supports for employers as they continue to struggle amid the pandemic.

It says the government should keep the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) programs at their June subsidy levels and extend them until the economy is fully open before the next planned decrease.

"With only a third of business owners back to normal levels of sales, it is just way too soon to phase out the wage and rent subsidies. The government has already started to aggressively cut these important supports just as many are in the process of reopening their doors or facing ongoing capacity restrictions," says Dan Kelly, CFIB president.

Specifically, 62 per cent of business owners have sales well below normal levels, and only 73 per cent of businesses are fully open, says CFIB.

Last month, the federal government proposed to extend the CEWS through Bill-C-30. Earlier, it said it wants to extend the CEWS and to gradually decrease the subsidy rate, beginning July 4, 2021, to ensure an orderly phase-out of the program.

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