October 30th, 2023
Madam Speaker, it is a privilege to rise today on a really important issue that is impacting small businesses through Canada. Throughout the pandemic, small businesses closed their doors to protect public health and the people in our communities. They are the unsung heroes that are not talked about enough in this House or in this country. Obviously, many of them took a major hit financially.
I have some stats from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. It cites that 60% of small businesses are still struggling with pandemic debt. In fact, the average pandemic debt is $126,827. Forty-seven per cent of small businesses are operating with sales that are below normal, and 19% are at risk of closure. This is a significant number of small businesses, which are one of the economic drivers in our communities. Many workers are employed by and rely on small businesses to succeed.
My colleague, the member for South Okanagan—West Kootenay, has been pushing the federal government to extend the CEBA loan for one more year, for the full-fledged, forgivable portion. We have been calling for a CEBA extension. Right now, 250,000 businesses are at risk of closing their doors.
As New Democrats, we understand the critical need to support small business. We are glad to see the Bloc join in our call for a full-fledged extension to the end of next year. We are glad to see the Greens support our call to action.
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