Support for small business during covid-19

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Government assists small businesses
My name is Zachary and I am a duel business owner residing in the small town of Perth Ontario.


During this pandemic both of my companies have been mandated to close. I own a gym here in Perth which has been apart of the community for a very long time. Perth Athletic Centre. I took a risk, and bought it bankrupted in November 2018. Since then, I have invested all my savings into it by buying new equipment, renovating, and marketing it well to turn it around quickly. The gym has been finally supporting itself, paying its own rent, all of the utilities and payroll. On March 17th 2020 the government mandated for this business to close its doors to the public. While it sits there closed it is accumulating significant rent amongst other monthly bills with absolutely no income. I do have members on contracts that I could be collecting payments from however at this very pressing time for everyone I do not feel it is morally right to do so.


I also own a roofing company in town Above the Rest Roofing which is seasonal work and usually picks back up around end of March early April. This business has two different leases on its own. One is an office downtown that employees two people and the other is a shop where all employees meet in the morning to load trucks and part ways for the day to work. Both of these locations have sat empty all winter. I always need to budget carefully to pay these rents while not working the frigid winter months, which is usually no problem up until April. As of today April 3rd 2020, it was also ordered to shut down. Now, this business also has no revenue and the leases will need to be honoured and the rents will need to be paid. Both locations will accumulate other monthly bills and expenses.


The government has to my knowledge offered a 10% then 75% wage subsidy, which is great if your business isn’t shut down and you qualify. I have heard they are offering loans to help Canadians cover the bills including rent, etc. I have made all the right moves and worked very hard to get to where I am. I have been careful not to accumulate any debts and to no fault of my own I’m expected to take a loan and go into debt or lose everything.


Although I feel the government is trying their best to navigate through these difficult times, I think with the bill recently past and all the money budgeted to give Canadians relief we could come up with something better.


My businesses employee a lot of people in the community and by no means makes me well off enough to afford a catastrophe like this. In order to keep the economy alive and well, I’m suggesting the government cover the rents of any businesses they have mandated to be shut down on spaces used for businesses operations. This helps businesses and landlords who many not be able to afford tenants that miss payments. This doubles down and helps a lot of people and our economy. Rental property is a source of income and an investment for some people. 


If it’s a full shut down the government should cover the cost of the entire rent. If it’s a partial shut down like restaurants for example then they should cover a percentage. The amount of tax I have collected and turned over to the government in the last few years in comparison this is nearly a drop in a bucket!


If this situation continues the way it’s projected to continue, I know for a fact the downtown of Perth will lose a huge chunk of its core and the businesses that fuel our economy will shut down. All the beautiful shops and retail that make our town what it is will be no more. These businesses won’t be around to support charities, local sports, and all the other great things they do in our community. I want to see our town prosper after this; I want to see other towns do the same. I want to see our economy start back up when this dark ominous cloud passes us by.


The government “our” government keeps making announcement after announcement about giving Canadians the relief we deserve. However, with every announcement I become more concerned. All I am eligible for so far is $2000 a month. I have three leases, a mortgage, and a family to feed. That is not nearly even possible or feasible.


I bought my home through a third party less then a year ago, which makes me ineligible for a deferral. Everything within your first year as a homeowner is completely interest. I spoke with a friend this morning who also had her small business, a salon close. She also has a third-party mortgage and ineligible for deferral, a single mother. She was starting her first day at Costco today. Could you imagine taking a job like this in these times? 


Small business owners are not being taken care of. We need this, we need help, our economy needs this. Our country needs it!