VIDEO: Small Business Urging Continued Support

Mario Toneguzzi’s guest on Business Insider:  Dan Kelly, President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, discusses the critical need small businesses in Canada have for continued government support.

Canadian Federation of Independent Business Press Release

The window is starting to close on the federal government’s crucial small business support programs, despite only 35 per cent of businesses being back to normal sales, warns the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In addition to closing the critical Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan program last month, the government has already started the phasing out of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). CFIB has launched a petition to halt these reductions.

“Small business owners are keen to replace subsidies with sales, but 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,” said CFIB President Dan Kelly.

CFIB is hearing from many business owners, including tour operators, travel agents, events, arts and entertainments businesses, reporting they will not see their business revenues return until 2022.

Maximum Subsidy Amount

Jun 6-Jul 3 Jul 4-Jul 31 Aug 1-Aug 28 Aug 29-Sep 25 After Sep 26
CEWS (wage)






CERS (rent)






CFIB is calling on the federal government to keep the subsidy programs at their June subsidy levels and extend them until the economy is fully open before the next planned decrease. CFIB is encouraging business owners to sign the petition or contact their MPs before August 1st (when applications for the July period open) and urge them to:

–  Extend CEWS and CERS until November (at minimum)

–  Maintain CEWS and CERS rates at June levels

–  Ensure all independent businesses, including new firms, have access to these supports

“While these programs are costly, it is important to keep in mind that businesses who no longer need support will not be eligible anyway as the subsidies are based on a sliding scale tied to their loss in revenue,” Kelly noted.

“After 16 long months of the pandemic, restrictions are finally being lifted, but for many small businesses it’s not over yet. It’s critical that we come together at this time, with a federal election looming, to ensure that the support programs are there to get us to the COVID finish line,” concluded Kelly.

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 

Mario can tell your story, share your message and amplify it to a wider audience through various digital channels.

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