'The government made helpful adjustments to key elements that weren't working'
Amid the perils of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadian employers are taking advantage of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program – and finding it effective, according to a survey.
More than half (55 per cent) of small businesses have used the federal government’s program, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB).
And two-thirds (67 per cent) say it is very or somewhat helpful, finds the survey of 4,669 members.
"While it took a long time, the government listened to small business owners' concerns with CEWS and made helpful adjustments to key elements that weren't working," says Dan Kelly, CFIB president.
And the end of July, the federal government announced that the CEWS program would continue until Dec. 19, 2020 – bringing with it added risk and complexity, say experts.
The CEWS program runs retroactively from March 15. Employers must have lost between 15 and 30 per cent of revenues to qualify.
The CFIB survey also found that 60 per cent of small employers have used the Canada Emergency Business Account, and 69 per cent of them say it is very or somewhat helpful. But only 15 per cent have used the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and only 20 per cent of them say it is very or somewhat helpful.