The end of major federal aid programs scheduled for May 7 could be a new blow to small and medium businesses, which are still struggling to recover from the last two years of the pandemic, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
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However, some of the assistance measures are retroactive, allowing the companies involved to submit an application for up to 180 days after the end of the period. However, their business expenses will not qualify after May 7.
“The end of assistance programs and incomes that are still low could push a large number of SMEs struggling for their survival to reduce their activities,” noted Friday in a press release Yasmine Genetti, vice president of national affairs at CFIB.
To limit the negative fallout, the CFIB in particular is calling for an extension of the reimbursement period for the Canada Contingency Business Account (CEBA) for an additional year.
A shortage of workers in city centers continues to punish SMEs, with 24% of them seeing their incomes affected by this trend.
The most stress was felt in the accommodation and food services (46%), personal services (31%), business administration and management (29%), and the commerce sectors (28%).
Nearly three in five business owners believe governments and large companies should encourage employees to return to downtown areas.