LETTER: Government can do more for smallest businesses

From reader Greg Scott

While I commend and am supportive of the programs that the federal government is implementing to support Canadians during this pandemic, one thing is missing from the various programs. This is the assisting of truly small business, the mom and pop stores, small sole ownership and proprietorships.

I predict this is going to lead to a good number of black windows in Nelson as fixed costs, especially payment of monthly rent force their closure. The Canada Business Account loan program qualification of $50,000 payroll as evidenced by payroll tax forms does not work when the majority of these owners’ wage is taken by draws against profit. While they appear to be personally eligible for the $2,000 per month under the Canada Emergency Benefit program, this will only cover some of their living expenses but not the fixed costs of the business, again especially rent.

Another factor is if they did qualify, do they have the margins to repay loans, despite the forgiveness aspect, or deferred rent and costs once back in business? No doubt discussions with their landlords regarding rent relief are now taking place but this is hit and miss especially as most landlords have their own costs to deal with.

The government has demonstrated that support is a moving target and under constant review. I urge the government to take another look at this sector of the economy.

Greg Scott


Letter to the Editor

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