COVID-19 has hit the small business community hard. Some economies are reopening, but many remain closed and small Canadian businesses will continue to struggle—or shutter—without better relief from the federal government.




COVID-19 continues to deeply affect my business. While many firms have been helped by the federal support programs, changes are needed to help small firms recover and ensure more businesses like mine are able to survive.

My priorities for your government are:

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Highlights of CFIB’s COVID-19 work

"We are mostly a seasonal business and have now lost our complete 2020 season. We are trying to hang on until next spring. Will we make it?"

"Our business was on track to have a record-breaking year. Without further assistance from the government, we will not make it through the winter. Our income has been ripped from us and our business is still in its infancy. The stress and anxiety keep me up all night trying to figure out how we will get through this. "

"As a sole proprietor, it's frustrating seeing businesses like mine be excluded from accessing supports for seemingly arbitrary government requirements.  We are the ones who need the help most. Sole proprietors, many of them women entrepreneurs like myself, are falling through the cracks. "

"I operate in a tourist location. Without the assistance, I would not be able to operate.  The uncertainty we face is monumental.  We can ride this storm with help, otherwise we will close due to lack of revenue over the next year."


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of business owners have sales well below normal levels


businesses could close without immediate help


CFIB has led the charge for critical changes to all of Canada’s major COVID-19 support programs for small business. This has included a new rent assistance program, allowing more firms to participate in the Canada Emergency Business Account, and increasing the wage subsidy and extending it until summer 2021. While these programs have helped hundreds of thousands of small businesses, many still do not qualify.


After the initial 10% wage subsidy was announced in March, we successfully fought to raise it to 75% and for the subsidy to be given on a sliding scale – meaning businesses with any revenue loss qualified for something. We also pushed the government to extend it to June 2021 and keep it at its current level until December, which it has done. 

Thanks to the surveys our members have filled out, CFIB has been able to show politicians what kind of relief business owners need. Through thousands of meetings, calls, letters and media appearances, we have successfully fought for improvements to the key aid programs available to small businesses. 

Learning from the failures of the CECRA program, CFIB told government that rent assistance should not hinge on landlord participation – which the new Canada Emergency Rest Subsidy finally addresses.

CFIB has consistently fought for the expansion of the Canada Emergency Business Account. So far, we’ve gotten the government to include businesses without payroll; expand the loan to $60,000 (from $40,000); increase the forgivable portion to $20,000; and allow access to businesses using personal bank accounts.




The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings.