Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns is calling on the federal government to do more to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19.

Johns says the financial fear of paying bills for so many businesses and people across the country needs to be addressed sooner, rather than later.

“People are very worried about making ends meet. People are losing their jobs and many business owners are facing the difficult reality of having to close their doors during their typically busy spring months without knowing how they’ll pay their bills. The government shouldn’t have made Canadians who need help now wait this long before presenting a plan,” said Johns.

We’ve been calling for this for weeks and we’re ready to work with the government to get that money to Canadians as quickly as possible.”

He added that businesses on Vancouver Island are especially going to take a hit and shouldn’t have to wait for support.

“The tourism industry here on Vancouver Island will face significant obstacles over the coming months and the Prime Minister is still asking people to wait weeks for the possibility of more help. These small businesses are showing real leadership and doing what’s best for public health – they deserve real support now.”

The Federal Government announced today that it’s offering a 10 per cent wage subsidy to help with wages.

Johns says this falls well short of other countries that are offering up to 75 per cent and may not be enough to protect jobs and keep Canadian small businesses from shutting down permanently.

“It’s encouraging that the government has responded to a number of NDP recommendations, but more needs to be done to make sure that no one falls through the cracks,” said Johns.