Our government cares about looking after Canadians during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are supporting workers and the Canadian businesses that employ them, with programs like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) – which will help them keep their jobs.

We all know people who have been laid off, or are worried they might be. We also know of businesses – our favourite local restaurant, salon or barbershop – that have had to close due to public health regulations. These entrepreneurs have worked alongside their employees, building their businesses, and providing the jobs, goods, and services that our communities rely on.

Our government has created the CEWS to support those who have been hardest hit. This program helps employers keep their staff on payroll, rehire those previously laid off, ensure that workers can access an income, and position themselves to rebound when the outbreak has passed.

Retroactive to March 15, 2020, the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy can provide businesses a subsidy of 75% to cover an employee’s weekly earnings, up to a maximum of $847 per employee, per week. This protects jobs for workers employed by businesses of all sizes, and across all sectors, including charities and not-for-profits.

Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of our economy, and CEWS offers a much-needed lifeline. I encourage businesses in our community to apply, so that you can stay strong throughout this crisis, protect local jobs, and get up and running once these hard times are over. Business owners can learn more about the program and sign up for direct deposits by visiting www.vanbynen.ca, or contact my office at Tony.VanBynen@parl.gc.ca.

CEWS is part of Canada’s overall COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. As the pandemic unfolds, this has been evolving and expanding to provide immediate relief to those who need it the most – while protecting jobs and our economy.

With the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), we reacted quickly and are continuing to help Canadians who have lost their source of income. With programs like the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses, we are helping businesses keep their employees and pay their bills. And with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), we are protecting the jobs that Canadians and their families depend on.

As we begin to reopen the economy, we must continue to follow our public health guidelines to remain open, and stay safe.  All levels of government are recommending non-medical masks or face coverings (if your health allows you to do so) where social distancing may not be possible.  Just as frequent hand washing, cough etiquette, and staying home when sick have become part of our routine, so too should wearing masks anytime we venture out where we might encounter groups. Let’s not allow a desire to return to life before the pandemic undo the progress we’ve made, and instead show even more willingness to do the right thing as we continue our journey forward.

That includes showing support for your local Aurora businesses.  We have seen a spirit of generosity, ingenuity and compassion from our business community. Their willingness to adapt, to support essential workers, and to step up as leaders is what makes our community a great place to live.  The best way to show our appreciation is to remain diligent in our fight against COVID-19.  Please stay safe, stay strong. 

We can do this.