Prime Minister Trudeau to ease restrictions on aid to small business

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OTTAWA –
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to announce that the government is easing restrictions on the Canada Emergency Business Account, according to the latest indications that it will take a long time for the country to resume operations.

The program, aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, offers government-guaranteed loans of up to $ 40,000 to cover the costs of keeping their business afloat during the COVID-19 crisis.

If the company can repay the loan balance by the end of 2022, up to $ 10,000 will be canceled.

Current eligibility requires applicants to prove that they paid between $ 50,000 and $ 1 million in payroll in 2019, leaving out some companies on either side of these numbers.

The government promised to expand the program, the latest in a series of billions of dollars in financial assistance to support the economy in the face of a pandemic that has shut down most businesses in Canada for more than a month. .

Continued updating and expansion of stimulus packages and direct assistance to Canadians and businesses comes as the Prime Minister continues to warn against economic recovery until the virus spreads uncontrolled and that more widespread screening and screening mechanisms will not be in place. place.

Trudeau has a meeting Thursday with G7 leaders, during which he vowed to discuss “a strong and effective global response to this pandemic.” After President Donald Trump’s statement last Wednesday that he was seeking to ease travel restrictions along the Canada-US border, and his decision to withdraw funds from the World Health Organization, this could be a conversation lively.

Canada defended the WHO, which the federal government relied on for advice and information during the pandemic, and said earlier this week that now is not the time to reopen the border. beyond allowing essential goods and workers to cross.

The Prime Minister is also meeting with provincial and territorial premiers about the salary supplements for certain essential front-line health workers. On Wednesday, he announced that the federal government is working with the provinces to share the costs of a wage increase for essential front-line workers who earn less than $ 2,500 a month.

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