COVID_19 Economic Justice

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Small business needs immediate rent forgiveness to survive the economic impact of COVID_19 in Canada. Not rent freeze!

The current response by the Federal Government to address small business needs during this national crisis does not go far enough and will mean the end to most of your favourite independently owned pubs, restaurants, cafes, yoga studios, nail salons, barbers, and boutiques selling locally produced fashion and more.

What happens to a small business forced to shut down for potentially months? The overhead costs of our rents, utility bills and financial debts go on while we sell nothing. Small businesses often have very little cash flow or savings, so many will not last long without financial support. If we can reopen when this is over, we will not sell the equivalent revenue of the months lost. Significant financial losses will likely bankrupt many small businesses and their owners trying to keep up with costs while no revenue comes in. Without government intervention, the outlook is bleak.

Rent freeze means pay all the rent later. Loans or “credit” put us in debt that sets us back years. What we need now is immediate rent and utility FORGIVENESS, as in - the government pays our rent and other overhead costs until this is over! The offer of loans at 3.3%+ interest by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) misses the point entirely. This isn’t a cash flow issue, it’s a cash issue. We will never regain the lost revenue. We need grants, not loans.  

Small businesses do not just provide jobs, they also provide the bedrock of culture and social life. If they disappear you will be left with mega corporations like Walmart, Cineplex and McDonald’s, that put their profits above your health while exploiting the working class and the environment. Diversity in food, entertainment and social life will be all but wiped out. Massive multinational corporations are big business - they don’t need rent forgiveness - they are hoarding the world’s wealth and can pay for it themselves. We are witnessing the Government of Canada bankroll the oil, gas and airline industries. It is only fair that we demand economic justice for small businesses as well!

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Thank you,

- small business owner (maybe not for long)