Letter: Many self-employed snubbed in bail-out

Canadians need to understand this. Millions have already applied for their personal COVID-19 relief. Good for you. Applications for so-called “small business relief loans” are opening within days. Do you know who does not qualify for any assistance, neither personal or business? Many self-employed business owners. Unless you had over $50,000 of payroll in the previous year, you do not qualify for the $40,000 interest-free loan. Unless you have payroll personal income of over $5,000, you do not qualify for the $2,000 personal payment. Think of your local electrician, logging truck owner/ driver, carpenter, repair man, car mechanic, roofer, coffee shop owner, small retail store owner… Nobody in these categories of business, incorporated or not, pays themselves $50,000 a year in wages. Most do not pay themselves any wages, instead they pay themselves “dividends” or “cash transfers” at the end of the year when all of their bills have been paid and they have a clear picture of what little amounts are left over. The federal government has somehow managed to design a “bail out” program that protects people who already qualify for EI, or businesses that are already big enough to have $40,000 or more in cash reserves AND would easily qualify for conventional credit, AND likely already
have business credit cards in hand with $30,000 limits. In other words, the REAL economy, the honest hardworking men and women who keep your car running, your house working, your main street stocked with goods on hand, logs rolling to the toilet paper factory and small ambient cafes that make your leisure time enriched are all being forced into bankruptcy either on purpose or through sheer government incompetence. So when you get your $2,000, please look at that neighbour next door who fixed your roof for a few hundred dollars two years ago. You will likely see a foreclosure sign on the front yard of their home within a few months. Spend your $2,000 wisely… it is $2,000 more than the self-employed will see for several years of personal bankruptcy.

Joe Nusse
Valemount, BC

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