O'Rourke speaks to chamber on programs impacting businesses

·4 min read

Mark O’Rourke, a partner with MNP, spoke to the Moosomin Chamber of Commerce on federal programs and the changes and funding that affected businesses in Moosomin.

He says a majority of the budget had heavy impacts on clean energy.

“There wasn’t a lot of new taxation measures, there’s no new personal tax rates or anything like that. They’re trying to keep, for the moment, as much money in everybody’s pocket as they possibly can, although at some point we’re going to pay the piper,” O’Rourke explained.

“Some of the big announcements when you go through the budget are things like a ton of incentives on clean energy. There are so many that we could be here all day, but if you’re getting clean energy of any kind you’ll want to take a peek at the budget. There’s a lot of programs, a lot of incentives coming out and that’s a big push from the government. A clean environment starts with clean energy.”

But what O’Rourke noted will impact local businesses the most is the extensions to support programs for small and medium-sized businesses.

He says many of the deadlines have been pushed back for these programs.

“When you look at the pandemic measures I know a lot of businesses have been able to take advantage of those programs which is fantastic. A lot of those programs were set to expire at the end of June, but the government and the budget announced that with the vaccination rates, pandemic timeline, and things like that the government has pushed those programs out until September 25th. Some of those programs are going to continue but start to decline in July.”

O’Rourke urged members of the chamber and small business owners to take part in any programs they are eligible for, making note of a few important programs.

The first program O’Rourke took note of was the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides a subsidy to cover partial wages for employees if the business has seen a significant revenue drop during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is an ongoing program that has been extended until September 25, 2021, with the next deadline being May 20.

“It truly kept a lot of people employed and working,” O’Rourke commented.

O’Rourke noted the Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy as another program that business owners that are struggling should look into.

The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy is available for businesses that have seen a drop in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic and will provide a subsidy to cover part of commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, and running until June 2021.

O’Rourke also reminded members of the chamber of an extension to the Canada Emergency Business Account.

The application period for a loan of up to $60,000 through the Canada Emergency Business Account has been extended until June 30, 2021. The loan is made available to small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Business owners can apply for this loan through their financial institute.

The Canada Recovery Hiring Program was also mentioned by O’Rourke during the chamber meeting.

The Canada Recovery Hiring Program was introduced in the April 19 Federal budget and aims to compensate eligible employers for extra costs incurred for increased wages and hours worked, or for hiring additional staff.

O’Rourke notes that the Canada Recover Hiring Program requires a revenue decline before being made available.

“If your business is thriving through the pandemic, you’re not going to be able to qualify just by hiring some new people. You have to be able to show a revenue decline.”

O’Rourke also shared the Canada Digital Adoption program which the federal government will spend $2.6 billion over four years to help businesses adopt newer technology.

“They announced a lot of other funding. There’s a new Canada Digital Adoption program. This creates ways for older businesses that maybe don’t have that (technological) capability to adapt to the new world.

“They created a program that is supposed to create around 28,000 jobs and they’re hoping to help as many as 160,000 small or medium-sized businesses in Canada.

“It’s going to train people to help businesses go digital. You can apply for this program and you’ll get a consultant that helps you go digital. There’s still a lot of information to come out about this program but this is the concept.”

Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator

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