With the first of May quickly approaching and no help from the government in sight, many small business owners are asking their landlords for help sharing the economic burden of the pandemic with mixed results. Others are applying for loans to save their small business, and some have already had to close permanently. 

The main problem facing many sole-proprietorship businesses is that they are too small to qualify for any of the government relief programs currently being offered. Commercial landlords on the other hand are still entitled to their full rent which we are unable to earn, with nothing stopping eviction of a business after 15 days of nonpayment of rent. With no way of being able to earn that through online sales alone, we are put in a difficult position.

Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. Consider that 98% of business establishments in Canada are small businesses and of those,  65.4% of all establishments in Canada are non-employers, while 34.6% have one or more paid employees. This means that most small businesses in Canada are sole-proprietorships with fewer than four employees, precisely the type of business that does not qualify for all the shiny new subsidies being rolled out.

Canadian Small Business Defined

Some smaller businesses do not qualify for the 75% wage subsidy program and even if they meet criteria for the other main resource being offered, the $40,000 in interest free loans, what logic is there in the business going in to significant debt in order to pay a landlord full rent on a space that cannot be used for it's intended purpose? Small business owners should not have to lose everything in order to keep their landlords operating as usual.

Canada's Covid-19 Economic Response Plan

What we really need is some form of rent abatement and there is someone with a solution, but for their voice to be heard we need your help! I have signed the petition as a business owner and you can sign as an individual, or as a business owner yourself and you can share how this mandated closure has affected you and your business