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COVID-19: The relaxation of rules for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will enable more businesses to weather the crisis

Montréal, April 8, 2020 ‒ The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal welcomes the relaxation of eligibility criteria for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program as announced today by the Government of Canada. Dropping the loss of revenue criterion from 30% to 15% for the month of March, as well as offering more flexibility regarding the months that can be used as a reference will give more businesses access to the subsidy, without penalizing companies that are showing strong growth.


“The Chamber repeatedly relayed concerns expressed by many of its members about eligibility for the Emergency Wage Subsidy,” said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “One of the requests for rules to be relaxed related to the reference months that could be used to calculate the drop in revenue to access the program. We are satisfied with the Government of Canada’s decisions to allow businesses to choose between two benchmarks and to lower the loss of revenue criterion from 30% to 15% for the month of March. More organizations affected by the crisis will be able to gain access to the aid they need. These decisions will avoid penalizing thriving companies that have experienced strong sales growth in the past year.”


“We applaud the decision to be able to use cash accounting to assess the real impact of the crisis on the revenue of businesses and their eligibility for the program,” Mr. Leblanc said. “We also support the implementation of an interest-free loan program to limit debt during the crisis, a major concern among businesses. We are pleased with the cooperative efforts between the federal government and financial institutions to ensure businesses have rapid access to the cash they need.”


“The exercise governments have had to engage in over the past few weeks has been demanding,” Michel Leblanc said. “We applaud the efforts of the Government of Canada, which has been receptive to calls from the business community. We also applaud the role of the opposition parties, which are showing openness that enables the minority government to make major public policy decisions within extremely short timeframes. The Canadian political system serves as a shining example in this period of unprecedented economic urgency.”


About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM)

With a network of over 8,000 members, the CCMM is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.





Julie Serero
Advisor, Media Relations
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042

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