Chamber President, Tammy Leslie, reached out to our Member of Parliament, Paul Manly, after she identified a shortfall in the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”) that did not allow owner’s of small business corporation’s who were taking their remuneration in the form of dividends rather than wages to apply for the benefit. Paul responded immediately to assure Tammy that he was aware of the shortfall in the ability for those business owner’s to apply for CERB and had brought it to the attention of Minister Morneau, Fortier and Parliamentary Secretary Fraser. The federal government announced Monday morning that ineligible dividend income would now count towards the $5,000 minimum income required to apply for the CERB. This means that these business owners can now apply for this benefit.
Paul has also brought to the Ministers and Parliamentary secretary’s attention shortfalls in the other following areas:
- Municipal Bail out to help with property tax and service cost deferrals- A lot of small business owners have been asking local mayors and councils to provide deferrals for property tax and for service costs for water, waste water and garbage. If municipalities had a bail-out package that was conditional on keeping their existing contract commitment and providing tax and service fee deferrals this would help a lot of Canadians and small businessees
- Credit Card Interest relief- Businesses will be getting by with credit cards and could use a break on interest and payments as they max out their cards to help finance themselves through the crisis
- Some businesses that have additional needs -some small businesses don’t quite meet the payroll threshold to be eligible for the business loan program and need help.
- Some banks are not being helpful with mortgage deferrals and instead are raising mortgage interest rates –this needs to be addressed
- CERB Shortfalls – a variety of examples have been provided of people in the riding who are falling through the cracks including a part time paramedic, people who hold 2 or 3 part time jobs to make ends meet, students who’s summer jobs have been cancelled.
Measures unveiled in the Prime Minister’s speech to the country this morning revealed changes to the benefits to address some of these concerns already with the promise of more to come. In Tammy’s telephone conversation with Paul this morning, which he kindly fit in between parliamentary sessions, he assured her that the government is listening to input from all member’s of parliament at this time and the changes are reflecting this. He will be providing more information as it become available so that we can send it out to our members.
Paul also asked that if any Ladysmith Chamber member’s have concerns they wish to have raised or heard by the government during this crisis to please reach out to the Chamber by email and we will forward these concerns to Paul to bring forward in his sessions.
Tammy Leslie, CPA, CGA, CA
Palmer Leslie, Chartered Professional Accountants