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Federal budget 2021: Program extensions, new hiring subsidy for small business

April 19, 2021
The Canadian Press

Ottawa’s budget measures for small and medium-sized businesses include pandemic-related program extensions and funding boosts even as the government rolls out a $15 federal minimum wage.

The Liberal government says it will extend the wage subsidy, the rent subsidy and its lockdown top-ups to Sept. 25, then gradually decrease them starting in June as vaccinations become more widespread.

The government will also expand the timeframe of its COVID-19 income support programs for those taking sick leave because they’ve contracted virus, are in self-isolation or must take time off work to care for children and family.

As the rent and wage programs wind down, the government plans to introduce a new hiring subsidy of up to 50 per cent on the incremental remuneration paid to eligible employees between June 6 and Nov. 20 for a maximum of $1,129 per employee per week.


The government proposes a new Canada Digital Adoption Program, which would train and deploy 28,000 young Canadians to help small businesses move online and support e-commerce initiatives.

On the other side of the leger, some small business costs will increase with the new minimum wage set to rise with inflation and include provisions to ensure that where provincial or territorial minimum wages are higher, the higher wage prevails.

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