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Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning announced a significant increase to the wage subsidy for small- and medium-sized businesses — 75%, compared to the 10% previously promotions.

The idea is to avoid mass layoffs and help “qualifying businesses” keep employees on staff. The subsidy will be backdated to March 15. More details will be released on Monday.

“It’s becoming clear that we need to do more — much more — so we’re bringing that percentage up to 75% for qualifying businesses,” Trudeau said. “This means people will continue to be paid even though their employers have to slow down or stop their businesses.”

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce praised the move: “75% wage subsidy is exactly what the doctor ordered, and what business groups have been asking for. Very good news for small businesses and their workers, increasing their ability to keep staff on the payroll.”

In addition, the federal government is launching a a new Canada Emergency Business Account that will involved banks providing government-guaranteed loans that will be interest-freefor the first year. If the borrower meets certain conditions, the first $10,000 will be forgiven.