This week is small business week. New Democrats know that small businesses play an important role in our communities and our economy. That is why the NDP has stood up for small businesses by advocating for a lower small business tax rate, an end to unfair fees that credit card companies charge small businesses and fought to make it easier to pass on small businesses to the next generation. We are also going to keep fighting to ensure small businesses receive the support they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small businesses, especially here in our community, have been hard hit this year with the COVID-19 pandemic slowing both the tourism and hospitality sectors and they do not know if or when they’ll see business return to pre-COVID levels. These small businesses have shown amazing resiliency by restructuring operations for curbside or online sales and training their staff on a whole host of new safety protocols that have been made necessary by this pandemic, and they deserve our support.
I am glad that the House of Commons is sitting again so that important programs that we pushed the Liberal government on such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Safe Harbour rules could be extended to the summer of 2021 in order to help small businesses through this second wave of COVID-19 infections and the tourism offseason — which is a difficult time for small business at the best of times. My New Democrat colleagues and I will continue to push the Liberal government to provide assistance to these small businesses that have been forced to take on enormous debt in order to keep the lights on and the doors open. Rent relief is critical to the future of many small businesses and we will keep fighting to ensure the Liberal government doesn’t repeat the mistakes made in the deeply flawed Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program.
My family and I have been shopping local, supporting these amazing businesses in our community and I hope that you will do the same. Our community has shown during this pandemic that it is capable of rallying around each other and helping each other out; let’s help small business.