VIDEO: Making Sense Of New Federal Government Support Programs

Mario Toneguzzi’s guest on Business Insider: Dan Kelly, President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, explains some of the new federal government support plans in place for small business.

Dan Kelly

Press Release

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is relieved that some broad-based business supports will remain in place following today’s federal announcement on wage and rent subsidies for businesses affected by COVID-19, but concerned that the eligibility rules and thresholds will put them out of reach for many.

Restaurants and tourism businesses will need to see a revenue drop of 40 per cent and all other businesses a 50 per cent drop in order to access these critical programs. This means small businesses that see revenues lower by one-third will not be able to access the previous wage and rent subsidies – potentially signing them up to lose money every single day they are open and putting them at risk of permanent closure.

CFIB will be pushing the federal government to be flexible in how it defines businesses in the tourism, restaurant and hospitality sectors for its targeted programs. Gyms, recreation facilities like bowling alleys, dance studios, drycleaners all continue to suffer massive COVID-related losses but may be ineligible for the higher levels of support.

New businesses that started after March 2020 must be included in any new government support programs if they meet the eligibility criteria. As it stands, they have not been able to access any of the government support programs, despite facing the same challenges and restrictions as other businesses.

The extension of the Canada Recovery Hiring Program to May 2022 and its return to 50 per cent is more welcome news for small businesses that are in a position to hire back staff. CFIB is also pleased that the government is pivoting to supporting workers affected by lockdowns, as many businesses are facing a major labour shortage, which is throttling their recovery. The new support program for businesses facing local lockdowns will also restore some much needed certainty for businesses heading into the winter months.

CFIB appreciates that the government has shown willingness to listen to the needs of small business owners and is counting on the Deputy Prime Minister to make important changes to ensure the programs will continue to do their job.

-Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) 

Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works as a freelance writer and editor as well as a consultant in communications and media relations/training.

He is VP of Content & Strategy for MegaPixx Media, which owns and operates YYC Business, and owner of Mario Toneguzzi Communications Inc. 

Mario is a regular contributor to various national and local publications including Retail Insider, RENX, Globe and Mail, The Star, National Post, Real Estate Magazine, Troy Media, YYC Business, Grocery Business Magazine and many others. He’s also a host for Calgary and Edmonton on Canada’s Podcast network. And he’s a regular contributor of content for companies and organizations to populate their websites.

Frequent commentator on television and radio on business news, issues and trends.

Named in 2021 as one of the Top 10 Business Journalists in the World by PR News – the only Canadian to make the list.

Part of the Herald’s National Newspaper Award winning newsroom for coverage of the June 2013 floods in Calgary.

If you would like to be interviewed by Mario for Five Questions or Business Insider, he can be reached at 

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