Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that a major wage boost will be coming from the government for small and medium-sized businesses affected by COVID-19.
The new measures are meant to help keep employees on the payroll and avoid layoffs and business closures.
Trudeau said the federal government had previously announced they would cover 10% of wages for qualified businesses. Now, the government will boost wage subsidies to 75%.
The new wage subsidy will be backdated to March 15th.
Trudeau also revealed a new program called the Canada Emergency Business Account, which will see approved banks offer $40,000 loans that will be interest-free for the first year. Under certain conditions, $10,000 of the loan will be forgivable.
The federal government is also giving $12.5 billion through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank to help businesses with their operational cash flow requirements so they can apply for loans easier.
On top of that, GST and HST payments, as well as duties and taxes owed on imports, will be deferred until June, which Trudeau said amounts to $30 billion in interest-free loans to businesses.