Business-owners in North Bay are now eligible to receive more government money to help cover the damages of COVID-19.
It was announced on Monday that applications are open for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) through the Canadian Revenue Agency for periods that have been extended to November 21.
Peter Chirico, President, and CEO of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce (NBDCC) says that North Bay businesses will stand to benefit from the subsidies.
“It will allow those – especially in the hospitality industry that have seen a tremendous drop in income during that period with some help,” he said.
The CEWS was established at the beginning of the pandemic to help offset the cost of employee wages for small businesses.
Now, any business which has seen a drop in revenue from last year is eligible to receive a base subsidy, with more funds available depending on the severity of the revenue drop.
Chirico says that the extension of the wage subsidy can give local business-owners some clarity while planning for the future.
Those certainly who have seen that [revenue] drop, it at least will help them through the challenges next five and six months and give them some certainty in planning what those wages are going to cost their business,” Chirico said.
According to Chirico, most businesses in North Bay have been impacted by the pandemic.
“There’s a majority of businesses that were affected in some way shape and form […] certainly those who are in need – and that doesn’t just include businesses it includes not-for-profits as well – they need operating dollars to carry on and improve their essential services,” he explained.
Chirico adds that the NBDCC has been actively connecting businesses in the community with resources such as the wage subsidy program. He says that it’s been great to see the government recognize the role of small businesses during this time.
“Small businesses rarely ask for help; they are rarely out seeking help,” said Chirico. The government has come through both federally and provincially to help small businesses and make sure they retain that position that small businesses make up our economy and they will lead our economy out of this.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CEWS has provided $26.58B in subsidies to more than 275,000 employers across the country.