Calgary Chamber welcomes extension of liquidity support programs; urges overhaul on rent relief
The following statement is attributable to Murray Sigler, interim CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Calgary, August 31, 2020 – “Support for business is vital to a sustainable economic recovery and we urge all governments to provide certainty through their support and relief programs.
“Today, we welcome the extension of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to October 31, 2020, and the intention to expand the program to businesses with personal banking accounts. We also welcome the extension of the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to June 2021. Both programs are critical to maintaining liquidity and access to credit.
“At the same time, businesses need urgent and immediate action on rent relief. We call on the federal government to provide certainty on the future of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program and urge an overhaul to improve accessibility and uptake. Our recommendations are to:
Extend the program until at least December 31, 2020 and move away from the current month-to-month approach. Any extension or change to CECRA must come with more notice so businesses can adequately plan based on their anticipated costs.
Introduce a direct-to-tenant approach, allowing tenants to directly apply to and receive funds from CECRA regardless of the position of their landlord.
Introduce a sliding scale of support, whereby businesses are eligible based on the amount of revenue they have lost, instead of the current threshold of 70 per cent.
“The road to recovery will be slow and uneven across sectors, therefore providing timely, accessible, and flexible fixed-cost relief for businesses remains vital.”