CORNWALL, Ontario – Stormont, Dundas, and South Glengarry MP Eric Duncan and his provincial counterpart MPP Jim McDonell have partnered to find out what support businesses need during the current pandemic.
No business has been left untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses in Ontario have been closed due to the provincial Emergency Order, except those who have been deemed essential.
Thursday evening, April 16, Duncan and McDonell will be holding a Zoom digital conference to discuss the concerns of local businesses.
Duncan said that one frequent concern he has heard from local small businesses are hurdles around qualifying for the federal Emergency Small Business Loan program.
The federal government is offering small businesses $40,000 in support, but to qualify, they must have payroll expenses between $50,000 and $1 million.
However, many smaller businesses have part-time workers who are paid through dividends that do not qualify as a payroll expense under the program.
“There are many businesses falling under that threshold and need that help,” said Duncan. “There are a lot of businesses in our area who aren’t qualifying because of that.”
Duncan explained he has already petitioned the government to consider dividend payments as a payroll expense and that they are looking into it.
McDonell and Duncan have invited Dr. Paul Roumeliotis to speak to businesses on the call about which businesses are essential, and how they can operate safely.
“Our local businesses have been more concerned than anything about operating safely,” said McDonell.
Another goal of the call is to get feedback on how new provincial and federal programs are helping small businesses.
“We have a number of programs that are available,” McDonell explained. “These are new programs and some are finding that there are technicalities that are eliminating them. We are trying to work through these and pass back what we are hearing.”
The call will be held through Zoom at 8 p.m. on April 16. Duncan said that there have already been 100 sign ups.
To sign up for the call, businesses are asked to RSVP through www.EricDuncanMP.ca/RSVP