6-week delay for business bailout amid coronavirus pandemic may be too long: biz orgs

Small businesses are set to receive federal funding as their revenue dries up during the coronavirus pandemic, but according to some organizations that represent employers, it may be too little, too late.

The federal government has said that eligible companies will get 75 per cent of salaries covered, if they’ve lost 30 per cent of their revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Loren Remillard told 680 CJOB the funding is good news, but the problem lies in the delay of six weeks before businesses can get their hands on the money.

“This is a significant investment in protecting our economy and supporting business. The challenge is that good news is going to take so long to reach businesses and by that time, many might not be around,” said Remillard.

“We have heard extensively from our members that a 30-day window was really a make-it-or-break-it period for them.

“A six-week delay just potentially could come when many companies have already made the decision to close their doors.”

Remillard said the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is meeting with federal officials on a daily basis as part of a push to expedite the funds.

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“Even shaving off two, three weeks will make a difference. When we think six weeks, for some, that’s three pay periods, and that’s significant,” he said.

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