The Federal New Democrats have announced new policies that the party will be pushing for small businesses that have been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach the pandemic has hurt many sectors of the economy but especially the small businesses.
Among the policies the NDP are pushing for include:
- Extending both the rent subsidy program and the wage subsidy until the pandemic is over and increasing the wage subsidy to 85 percent for tourism businesses
- Implement a hiring bonus whereby the federal government pays the employer portions of Employment Insurance and the Canadian Pension Plan for new or rehired staff
- Capping credit card transaction fees charged to small businesses
- Establishing a hotline for small businesses to help apply for government support programs
Bachrach said the NDP feels that more needs to be done for these businesses.
“We can’t run the risk of losing a significant percentage of businesses in our communities that are really the mainstay of what make our local economy function,” he said.
Bachrach added even though there are some programs for small businesses, businesses in the Northwest are still hurting.
According to Bachrach some businesses have lost revenue due to the loss of tourism within the region due to travel restrictions causing the pandemic to be rough on these small businesses.
He also said the programs that have been implemented have not met their needs.
“We need programs that are flexible that understand the needs of small, family owned businesses and allow people to keep their doors open and their lights on during such difficult times,” Bachrach said.
Bachrach will be hosting a town hall with MP Gord Johns on Thursday (March 4) regarding the proposed plan at 6pm.