With only 17% Uptake, PCs Small Business Program is a Flop

Manitoba Liberals say the Pallister Government's gap protection program is not designed to reach enough Manitoba small businesses, as more than 80% of the program funds are untouched.


Dougald Lamont, Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface said the program is only designed to help a small number of small businesses in Manitoba.


"The insurance salesman in Pallister keeps coming out because his programs are designed to avoid giving people help they need, so he can keep more of it," said Lamont. "The PCs need to go back to the drawing board and develop what we've been asking for - grants, not loans, to cover overhead and help businesses 'hibernate' so they can reopen and rehire again."


Liberals said Pallister is on one hand, criticizing federal supports, but on the other completely relying on them to avoid dipping into provincial funds. The program currently only offers grants if the business does not accept any federal funding.


The CFIB warned in April that 58% of Canadian businesses will not be able to pay May rent in full without further assistance.


"While provincial governments ordered businesses to close, they have not taken the necessary steps to help business owners with the costs of keeping their businesses financially stable during the shutdown," said Lamont.


Pallister claimed his small business program is the most generous in the country, though the uptake in the program says otherwise. Saskatchewan, for example, allows its supports to be combined with support from the federal government - not just one or the other.


Manitoba has already seen a series of business closures and will continue to see more if the PCs don't step up to better help the small business community.



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