Toronto – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Sunday issued a statement Thanks to Canadian small business owners for their “dedication, perseverance and innovation,” the COVID-19 pandemic financial aid programs for businesses and individuals are due to end less than a week ago.

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On October 23 – the last day of Small Business Week – the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CER) and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) are set to expire. Both programs have been extended several times since their implementation in 2020.

More than 200,000 business owners have trusted CERS for help, and more than 450,000 have benefited from CEWS.

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The passage of the Budget Implementation Act allows the government to extend the CERS and CEWS till November 30. Beyond that deadline, the new law would need to be introduced in parliament.

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But many businesses have not been back on their feet despite their doors being reopened.

Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), told Granthshala.ca on October 7 that “only 40 percent of small businesses are at normal sales levels, 60 percent are not yet.” People see businesses open, and they just assume we’re back to normal, but that’s certainly not the case.”

Restaurant owners have been particularly difficult. According to a survey By Restaurants Canada, eight out of 10 restaurants nationwide are either losing money or barely breaking down, while seven in 10 are currently taking advantage of government subsidy programs.

As for individual benefits, Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) and Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefit (CRCB) are also due to expire on Saturday. These programs can also be extended by the government in November.

More than two million Canadians have applied for CRB so far. Around 700,000 have applied for CRSB and over 450,000 for CRCB.

With files from Granthshala.ca’s Sarah Turnbull, Nicole Bogart and the Brooklyn Newspaper and The Canadian Press