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Federal government announces billions in support for small and medium businesses

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a series of measures in order to support small and medium-sized business.

The payroll support has been raised to 75-percent to help employers cover salaries. It is retroactive to March 15th.

It was not clear how long the payroll subsidy will last when things return to normal,  but Trudeau said more details will be given on Monday.

In order to help companies that are facing a cash crunch, the federal government is launching the Canada Emergency Business Account which will allow companies to apply for loans up to 40-thousand dollars, interest-free for a year.  If needed up to 10-thousand dollars may be forgiven.  The government is also waiving GST & HST payments and import and export duties until June.

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Trudeau called small businesses the backbone of the country, “Canada’s fundamentals are strong and we have one of the best balance sheets in the G-7 which allows us to support you and allows you to focus on what you need to do right now, which is stay at home with the confidence the economy will bounce back strongly.  Your job will be there, your relationship with your employer is still there and we will support you through this.”

He encouraged employers that have already had to lay-off staff to re-hire them.

When asked how long Canadians are going to have to be in self-isolation, he repeated what has become his daily mantra.  He told reporters the length of our self-isolation will depend on the decisions Canadians make today, repeating people’s need to stay home, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands. He said if Canadians make wise choices right now, our isolation will be shorter.

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