NDP’s Horwath proposes a Save Main Street plan
QUEEN’S PARK — Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said small and medium-sized businesses, charities and community-based non-profits need more help to make it through the COVID-19 storm, and the provincial government should offer that lifeline.
“Many small and medium-sized businesses, non-profits and charities are counting down the number of days they can keep their heads above water since COVID-19 has taken away their revenue,” said Horwath. “We not only want them to survive, we want them to be able to keep staff on the payroll as much as possible.
“The federal wage subsidy program and loan options are a welcome relief, but still leave small operations unable to pay the rent and bills without sinking into debt. The provincial government can solve that problem.”
Horwath’s said small and medium-sized businesses, charities and community-based non-profits should get help from the province, including:
- A 75 per cent commercial rent subsidy up to $10,000 a month for three months
- A utility payment freeze
- A remote-work set up fund, which could help them with things like setting up an online retail operation, or buying laptops and software for staff
- An auto insurance grace period for taxis and car-sharing drivers, established in partnership with the insurance industry and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority
- A designated emergency fund for small businesses and entrepreneurs who have faced historic barriers to accessing traditional capital, as proposed by the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce.
The cost of the Save Main Street plan is estimated to range from $850 million to $1.15 billion.