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The 2021 Federal Election: What does it mean for Canadian small businesses?

Clock5 min. read
byVexxit Staff onSeptember 10, 2021

With the federal election looming, Canada’s small businesses are demanding a strong economic recovery plan to help them revitalize and rebuild. The economic impact of COVID-19 has left many financially fragile and struggling to remain operational. According to a public opinion poll conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the economy and small business recovery ranked in the top five election issues for Canadians. In fact, more than 93% of Canadians agreed that small business recovery is crucial for Canada’s economic recovery.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) report, business owners told CFIB that it’s imperative for the next elected government to have a strong and clear vision for Canada’s small business sector. Here are the top measures that business owners want to see in federal party platforms: 

  • A clear, detailed economic recovery plan, including improvements to COVID-19 relief programs such as the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), and wage and rent supports for all small business 

  • Plans to reduce the overall tax burden on small business

  • A commitment to control government spending, and a timeframe for balancing the budget 

  • A plan that ensures any future changes to Employment Insurance are made with small business in mind 

  • Policies to address labour and skill shortages 

Canada’s small business owners who have weathered the hardships created by the pandemic want assurances from all political parties that tangible measures will be implemented to continue supporting the small business community. The three leading political parties have made big promises to support Canadian small businesses during their election campaigns. We looked at the campaign promises made by each of the three main parties as they relate to small business. Here is a quick snapshot:

Liberals: (Visit: COVID-19: Supporting Canadian small businesses | Liberal Party of Canada for more information)

  • Extend the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy until October 2021.

  • Provide a 75% wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, for up to 3 months, retroactive to March 15, 2020. This will help businesses to keep and return workers to the payroll.

  • Allow businesses, including self-employed individuals, to defer all GST/HST payments until June, as well as custom duties owed for imports.

  • Launch the new Canada Emergency Business Account, a program that will provide up to $25 billion to eligible financial institutions so they can provide interest-free loans to small businesses.

  • Launch the new Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan and Guarantee program that will enable up to $40 billion in lending, supported through Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank. 

  • Extend a hiring credit first unveiled in their recent budget through to the end of March 2022.

  • Provide 10-days of paid sick leave for federally regulated workers.

Conservatives: (Visit: Secure the Future | Vote Conservative on Sept. 20 for more information)

  • Provide 50% of salaries of new hires once the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) is phased out.

  • Launch the Main Street Business Loan to provide loans of up to $200,000.

  • Double the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit for the next 3 years to help create more places for apprentices.

  • Invest $250 million over the next 2 years to create the Canada Job Training Fund, which will provide grants to various organizations to better workers’ skills.

  • Launch a Rebuild Main Street tax credit for small businesses and reform the Business Development Bank of Canada to ensure its loan programs are accessible to small businesses. 

NDP: (Visit: Building an economy that works better for more people « Canada's NDP for more information)

  • Extend the small business wage and rent subsidies until they are able to fully reopen.

  • Implement a long-term hiring bonus to pay the employer portion of EI and CPP for new or rehired employees. 

  • Provide access to services and infrastructure needed to recover, thrive, and expand.

  • Streamline access to government export services and make it simpler to break into foreign markets.

  • Invest in training and support for small businesses operating in rural areas.

  • Implement public, universal pharmacare, which will save businesses approximately $600 per employee with extended health benefits every year.

Clearly, these three political parties recognize the significant value of Canada’s small business community to our economy. Accounting for 99.8% of businesses in this country, small business is big business in Canada, and they are vital to our continued prosperity. As our recovery gets underway, we can be assured that the federal government elected will continue to provide the support small businesses need to thrive. If you need help navigating the complexities of the federal programs, policies or funding available to small business owners, Vexxit can match you with an accountant, financial advisor or consultant for free. Explore your matches here.

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