While Canada’s support for small businesses hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic has been welcomed, Mining Association of Canada president and CEO Paul Gratton says the entire economy needs to be protected to allow the country to respond when the recovery starts.
Responding to a tweet from the Business Council of Canada on support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Gratton agreed that Covid-19 does not discriminate by business size.
“SMEs’ customers are large employers. Mines are closing, shedding jobs, cancelling contracts – with SMEs. We must protect the whole economy and make sure that when the recovery starts, we have the capacity to recover,” he tweeted at the weekend.
Business Council of Canada tweeted that it supported the enhanced wage subsidy for SMEs, noting that such businesses employ millions of Canadians and play critical roles in the supply chains of larger employers.
“We look forward to additional support for employees of large Canadian companies, #Covid19 does not discriminate by business size.”
Sudbury Liberal MP Paul Lefebvre also said that measures supporting workers and SMEs were “very important” and showed “great leadership”. “However, we can’t forget larger businesses like mines, who are the SME’s customers. Right now mines are closing, shedding jobs and their SME suppliers.”
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, the Canadian federal government on Friday released a number of initiatives to help small businesses, including a deferral of sales tax remittance and customs duty payments, the deferral of customs duty and sales tax for importers, as well as providing new loan programmes for businesses.
Several mines have closed during the pandemic to protect workers and communities in which they operate.