Estimated at 73 billion dollars, the wage subsidy program for employers created by Ottawa did not have the popularity expected since its implementation in pandemic period.
The grant, which aims to help entrepreneurs to pay salary to their employees, rather than lay off, has been paid to 216 000 companies for an amount of 5.7 billion dollars as of Sunday morning.
“Some companies do not see the horizon profile next to the resumption of activities or a certain profitability. This program is not interesting for these companies or for these employees,” says Norma Kozhaya, chief economist of the Conseil du patronat du Québec.
However, the latter believes that some companies will resort to the emergency aid in the coming months on account of some eligibility criteria to which companies are subject.
“For the month of march [the test was] a decrease in income of 15% and for the month of April and may, that is a decrease in income of 30%. It may be that some companies will ensure that they meet the criteria before you apply,” says the expert, ” on the waves of LCN.
In some cases it was too complicated to re-employ certain employees in cases of redundancies, believes Ms. Kozhaya.
“It may be that other companies continue to roll in the manufacturing sector because they are seen as an essential service which was proceeding according to a certain book of orders, which tends to be depleted.”
In mid-may, the prime minister Justin Trudeau has announced the expansion of the eligibility criteria as well as the extension of the assistance program until the 29th of August.
This is good news, according to Norma Kozhaya, given that “needs may arise during the course of the next weeks and months”.