The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, today made the following statement in recognition of Small Business Week:
“Small businesses are at the heart of our communities and the lifeblood of our cities and towns across the country. They add vitality and colour to our neighbourhoods, and they represent an incredible 98% of all Canadian businesses. Small businesses-and the near 8.5 million hard-working Canadians they employ-are what keep our communities and our economy humming.
“Today marks the beginning of Small Business Week in Canada. Every year, this is a time to celebrate Canadian small businesses and the enormous contributions they make every single day. This year, we recognize their incredible resilience. The impact of this crisis on small business owners cannot be overstated, and we recognize the sacrifices they have had to make.
“From the very beginning of this crisis, we have been fighting for small businesses. We made the deliberate decision to step up, listen and do whatever it takes to support them.
“The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has helped businesses keep over 3.7 million Canadians on the payroll. Close to 770,000 business owners have taken advantage of the Canada Emergency Business Account to keep up with their fixed costs and operating expenses. We helped 3.2 million entrepreneurs and small business owners, including sole proprietors and self employed Canadians, keep more money in their pockets by deferring GST, HST and customs duty payments. We are also investing over $1.5 billion through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to help local small businesses. And building on the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance that supported over 130,000 small businesses, we will launch the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy to provide direct rent and mortgage support for small business owners who need it most.
“All of these measures are in addition to dedicated supports for women entrepreneurs and Indigenous businesses owners, as well as businesses that export and those in agri-food, hospitality, tourism and more, which will ensure that our economic recovery is inclusive and sustainable.
“As we face a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada will continue to be there for small businesses every step of the way.
“I want to take this opportunity to commend and thank all of Canada’s small business owners. Whether it’s innovating and adapting your business models, taking advantage of the Government’s emergency supports or looking to new markets for opportunities for growth, you continue to persevere.
“I wish everyone a safe and healthy Small Business Week, and I invite Canadians to join me this week in supporting our local businesses in any way we can. Together, we will get through this challenge and build a stronger, more resilient Canada for everyone.”